Contents: Preface. Foreword. Acknowledgements. 1. Introduction. 2. Origin and distribution. 3. Systematic position. 4. Morphological features. 5. Epidermal features. 6. Palynology. 7. Cytology. 8. Molecular studies. 9. Economic importance. 10. Propagation. 11. Pests and diseases. References. Glossary of medical terms.
"The Shoe-Flower (Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis Linn.) or the China Rose has been both a fascination and an enigma to the plant lovers all over the world. The large and attractive flowers exhibit much variation in form and are produced in almost all hues of colours all the year round. The variability exists not only in the form, number and arrangement of the petals and stamens, but also in the leaf characters as well. This has given rise to a multiplicity of varieties reaching up to over 5000 in number (Graf, 1982) constituting the H. Rosa-Sinensis species-complex. The existence of such a vast array of varietal forms within a single species, coupled with the feasibility for raising novel morph types by intervarietal and interspecific hybridizations, has led to the establishment of this species as one of the most favoured horticulturally. Thus, innumerable distinct accessions exist under cultivation as garden plants the world over. The rapidity and efficacy of vegetative means of propagation along with outbreeding has brought about its worldwide establishment and distribution. Apart from its ornamental value, the species is well known for its medicinal properties. A comprehensive study on the gross morphology (both vegetative and flora) of a sizeable number of members belonging to this species-complex is very much lacking. It is expected that an in-depth study of the variability of morphological characters in this group would go a long way in circumventing the ambiguity in the identification of its members. Most previous reports pertaining to the epidermal features, pollen morphology and molecular aspects concentrate on the plant at the level of the species or higher up. Although the various aspects relating to the cytology, chemical constitution, methods of propagation and economic significance of the plant have received ample attention in the past, many of these reports are scattered. It is a compilation of the available literature on the plant would serve any Hibiscus enthusiast."