Thursday, July 31, 2014

Flower Friday: Scarlet rosemallow is a dazzling summertime jewel.

Photo: Stacey Matrazzo
Scarlet rosemallow (Hibiscus coccineus)

Scarlet rosemallow (also known as scarlet hibiscus) is an herbaceous to semi-woody perennial wildflower that is common along wetland and stream edges, and in swamps and other wet, open sites. In late spring and throughout summer, it produces large, crimson blooms that remain open for only one day. Scarlet rosemallow is a profuse bloomer, however, and will typically produce many flowers throughout the summer. Its leaves are alternately arranged, palmate and deeply lobed.

Scarlet rosemallow, like other plants with deep, red flowers, is very attractive to hummingbirds.

Family: Malvaceae (Mallow family)
Hardiness: Zones 8-11
Soil: Prefers moist to wet, rich soils but can be acclimated to well-drained soils with enough moisture
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Growth habit: 3-7 or more feet in height; 2-5 feet in spread
Garden tips: Scarlet rosemallow is a great addition to any moist or wet landscape or in areas that receive plenty of moisture. It is easily propagated by seeds and cuttings, and has no known pests. It will die back in the winter and should be pruned or mowed to the ground in the fall as it goes dormant.

Scarlet rosemallow is often available at nurseries that specialize in native plants.Visit PlantRealFlorida.org to find a native nursery in your area. Seeds are available through the Florida Wildflowers Growers Cooperative.

To see where scarlet rosemallow occurs naturally, visit florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3189.

-- Stacey Matrazzo

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