The Hibiscus rosa-sinesis L. is a small tree with showy red-pink flowers, belonging to the Malvaceae family. The genus was given its name by Linnaeus, and is the ancient Greek name for another species belonging to the same family, the marsh mallow, called ibiscos. The specific epithet refers to the colour of the flowers and the likely country of origin. The plant was introduced to Italy from the Far East in the 17th century, whilst in the Lucca area its presence was recorded from the first half of the 1800s onwards. Another variety of hibiscus, the Syrian ketmia or rose mallow (Hibiscus syriacus) is also present, also originating from the Far East but more resistant to the cold (and therefore also cultivated at Malmaison).