It is a shrub growing to 3 m tall. The red or pink flowers are very distinctive in their frilly, finely divided petals. Its common names include Japanese Lantern, Fringed Hibiscus, Coral Hibiscus and Fringed Rosemallow.
Flowers with finely dissected petal have a range of colors, the most common being the red form. Leaves resemble those of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis.