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A Floridata Plant Profile #276 Hibiscus moscheutos
Common Names: swamp mallow, swamp hibiscus, swamp rose mallow
Family: Malvaceae (mallow Family)
Wallpaper Gallery (3 images)

Perennial  Water   For Wet, Boggy Areas Flowers
mallow
One of the most impressive and popular of the swamp rose mallow cultivars is the brilliant 'Lord Baltimore' handsomely presented here against a backdrop of banana (Musa spp.) leaves. Click to download a large version of this image.

Description
The swamp rose mallow is a multi-stemmed, shrub-like herbaceous perennial that grows up to 7 ft (2.1m) tall. It dies back in winter and re-sprouts in spring. The leaves are usually without lobes, 2-3in (5-8cm) wide by 6-8 in (15-20 cm) long, velvety (pubescent) beneath and smooth (glabrous) on top. The flowers are about 6in (15 cm) across, with white or pink petals and crimson centers. Some have heart-shaped leaves and huge flowers and come in many different colors.

Location
Hibiscus moscheutos occurs in swamps, marshes and ditches in the eastern United States from Massachusetts to Michigan and south to Texas and Florida.

Culture
Likes good garden soil. Feed and mulch well.
Light: Does best in full sun.
Moisture: Water regularly. Swamp rose mallow prefers moist soils.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 5 - 10. Can be grown farther north if roots are protected. Some of the hybrids are less hardy.
Propagation: By seeds or root division. Numerous cultivars and hybrids are available.

mallow
This white mallow is the centerpiece of a butterfly garden backed up by a bed of contrasting red 'Jacob Klein' beebalm (Monarda punctata). Click to download a large (800x600) version of this image.

Usage
Use near patios and entryways or in shrub borders to add color. Plant swamp rose mallow in low damp places and near streams and other water features where it will thrive. It also does well as a container plant if kept watered and well fed.

Features
The huge flowers of the hybrids and selected cultivars are real show stoppers! The swamp rose mallow provides color in quantity throughout the heat of the summer. The huge blossoms create a colorful scene reflected in the still waters of a fish pond.

Steve Christman 08/18/97; updated 10/04/98, 8/23/08




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