The hibiscus is a member of the mallow family which has nearly 300 species including trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. The beautiful, exotic-looking flowers are short-lived, typically blooming for only one day. Once finished blooming, the flower will close up and drop off. There is also a shell-like structure supporting the flower. This too withers and drops a few days after the flower fades. Here are images of white and red hibiscus flowers spotted in Santa Monica, California.