The genus name is derived from the Greek name ‘ebisckos’ and ‘ibiskus’ used by Dioscorides to describe a sort of mauve. As a medicinal plant is known since ancient times, being recorded since 1216, when the Seville botanist Abul-Abbas-the-Nebate described it highlighting how his immature fruit was used by the Egyptians, who mixed it with meat. Its use is currently very popular in the eastern part of the Mediterranean.
It is also considered a flower of gallantry in the East and the Pacific. In Japan, for example, means kindness and welcome. The Chinese on the other hand identify it with fame and wealth, also with virgins. In Tahiti, when a woman carries a flower of the hibiscus variety behind the left ear it means it is available for marriage, whereas if it is behind the right ear it means she is already engaged; a flower behind each ear is that it has been proposed marriage and she would prefer it were not so.
Its huge flowers make this plant widely used in gardening as a hedge and to decorate courtyards, requiring a lot of sun, especially for flowering.