Hibiscus syriacus makes for good tea and food, among other usages such as cordage or medicine. There is information readily available for this species, as well as recipes. Please do your own research, and consume or use at your own risk. Expect mucilage from this okra relative.
Aphrodite Hibiscus 'Rose of Sharon'
Hibiscus syriacus 'Aphrodite'
Many of us know that Aphrodite was NOT the founder of one of the coolest hairstyles ever, but instead was a Greek goddess of love and sexual beauty. Well, those of us who had to take four years of Latin in high school know this lovely little fact. Aphrodite all the time seemed to be entrancing young lovesick fools with just the flip of her wavy hair or an errant bewitching glance. Maybe that’s why this hibiscus got the name Aphrodite—its beauty practically turns you stupid. This hibiscus has a vase-shaped form and gets BIG, so put it at the back of a border or in the center with lots of room to show off for a cool tropical surprise. The ruffled pink flowers with dark red throat can be up to 4 inches across and adorn the Aphrodite from midsummer to fall. This hibiscus doesn’t self-seed, is deer resistant, and once established is tolerant of drought, urban conditions, heat, humidity and zombies. Okay, maybe not zombies. Deciduous.