Friday, July 7, 2017

Flower Friday: Swamp rosemallow

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

Click on terms for botanical definitions.

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 (Mallow family)
Native range: Nearly throughout Florida

To see where natural populations of swamp rosemallow have been vouchered, visit florida.plantatlas.usf.edu.
Hardiness: Zone 8a-11
Soil: Moist to inundated sand or muck
: 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.

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