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Friday, July 17, 2015

Flower Friday: Summer's star wildflower is Hibiscus grandiflorus.

Photo by Ray Mathews, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Swamp rosemallow (Hibiscus grandiflorus)

Swamp rosemallow is a deciduous perennial wildflower with showy pink blooms. Its solitary flowers are large and somewhat nodding; they have 5 whitish-pink to rose-colored petals and red centers. Leaves are deltoid to heart-shaped, have toothed margins and are alternately arranged. They are grayish-green in color and velvety, giving the foliage a silvery tone. Stems and bracts are pubescent, as are the capsules (fruits).

Swamp rosemallow blooms from summer into early fall. It occurs naturally in marshes and swamps, in wet ruderal areas, and along edges of lakes, ponds and rivers. It is often seen in large masses in open marsh areas.

Photo by Joseph Marcus,
Lady BirdJohnson Wildflower Center

Family: Malvaceae
Native range: Nearly throughout Florida
Hardiness: Zone 8a-11
Soil: Moist to inundated sand or muck
Exposure
: Full sun
Growth habit: 6–10’ tall

Garden tips: Due to its size, swamp rosemallow is best suited for broad, expansive landscapes, but can also serve as a beautiful centerpiece in a mixed container planting. It may be propagated by seed.  

Swamp rosemallow seeds are available from the Florida Wildflower Cooperative. Plants are available at nurseries that specialize in Florida native plants. Visit plantrealflorida.org to find a native nursery in your area.

To see where swamp rosemallow occurs naturally, visit www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu.

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