The Q&A Archives: name of flower

Question: There are 3 plants in our yard (from previous owner) that we cannot identify. They are perennials and have a large red flower and the leaf has 5 points (similar to a star). They grow tall (thus far) and the flower is similar to a hibiscus. Can you help identify with this limited information? Thanks

Answer: It is almost impossible to identify a plant without seeing it and keying it out! But, based upon your description, I wonder if it is Roselle. roselle is a robust many-branched shrub-like plant that gets 4-7 ft tall and almost as broad. The dark green leaves are about 6 in across and deeply dissected into 5 narrow lobes. The stems, branches, leaf veins, and petioles (leaf stems) are reddish purple. The hibiscus-like flowers, appearing in summer, are about 3 in across. At the bottom of each flower, enclosing the bases of the five petals, is a fleshy bright red cup-like structure called a calyx, The calyx is about 1 in in diameter. The calyces of roselle are used to make juices, sauces, jellies, wines and pies.

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