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Hibiscus moscheutos is often confused with:
Abelmoschus manihot Flower
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Monarda didyma Flowers
Echinacea purpurea New growth - late winter (Haywood County, NC)
Lobelia cardinalis Flowers
Hibiscus moscheutos has some common insect problems:
Japanese Beetle
Aphids Found on Flowers and Foliage
Whiteflies Found on Flowers and Foliage
Hibiscus moscheutos has some other problems:
White-Tailed Deer

Swamp Mallow Hibiscus moscheutos

Other plants called Swamp Mallow:

Previously known as:

  • Hibiscus palustris
Phonetic Spelling
hy-BIS-kus mos-KEW-tus
Description

Crimsoneyed rose mallow is an herbaceous perennial in the Malvaceae (mallow) family. It is native to wetlands and creek edges in the southeastern United States and is found in all areas of North Carolina. It can grow 4 to 7 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide. White flowers with a burgundy center first mature in summer and continue into early fall. The flowers of cultivars vary in color and can be up to 12 inches across on compact plants.  

It prefers full to partial sun and wet to constantly moist soils containing loam, silt, or some sand with organic material. This plant is slightly salt tolerant and is considered low maintenance. Propagation is through seed planting or plant division.

This plant was selected as the 1997 NC Wildflower of the Year, a program managed by the North Carolina Botanical Garden with some financial support from the Garden Club of North Carolina.

Use rose mallow in the lowest area of the garden, as a specimen, along streams or ponds, or as a temporary summer screen or hedge. Plant in native, pollinator, butterfly, or rain gardens. It can also be grown in large containers. Its saucer-shaped flowers are a wildlife food source and are an attractant for pollinators, hummingbirds, butterflies, and specialized bees.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Japanese beetles can severely damage foliage if left unchecked. Whiteflies, aphids, and scale are occasional insect visitors. There is some susceptibility to leaf spots, blights, rusts, and canker. Leaf scorch can occur if soils dry out. This plant is occasionally damaged by deer.  

 

VIDEO created by Andy Pulte for “Landscape Plant Identification, Taxonomy and Morphology” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee.

 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Poolside Garden Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Sunken Pond Garden Flower Bonanza Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Lord Baltimore'
  • 'Luna Red'
  • Pink Tea Cups
  • Summer Storm
'Lord Baltimore', 'Luna Red', Pink Tea Cups, Summer Storm
Tags:
#hummingbirds#full sun tolerant#water garden#rain garden#perennials#specimen#white flowers#wildlife plant#pink flowers#salt tolerant#low maintenance#riparian#fall interest#wetlands#hedges#stream banks#specialized bees#fast growing#cpp#fire medium flammability#NC native#summer flowers#deer browsing plant#pond garden#pollinator plant#native wildflower#wildflower garden#fantz#larval host plant#food source fall#Coastal OBL#food source nectar#food source pollen#Piedmont Mountains OBL#wet soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#nectar plant early summer#nectar plant mid-summer#nectar plant late summer#nectar plant early fall#partial shade tolerant#bee friendly#Audubon#shrub borders#NC Wildflower of the Year#landscape plant sleuths course
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Lord Baltimore'
  • 'Luna Red'
  • Pink Tea Cups
  • Summer Storm
'Lord Baltimore', 'Luna Red', Pink Tea Cups, Summer Storm
Tags:
#hummingbirds#full sun tolerant#water garden#rain garden#perennials#specimen#white flowers#wildlife plant#pink flowers#salt tolerant#low maintenance#riparian#fall interest#wetlands#hedges#stream banks#specialized bees#fast growing#cpp#fire medium flammability#NC native#summer flowers#deer browsing plant#pond garden#pollinator plant#native wildflower#wildflower garden#fantz#larval host plant#food source fall#Coastal OBL#food source nectar#food source pollen#Piedmont Mountains OBL#wet soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#nectar plant early summer#nectar plant mid-summer#nectar plant late summer#nectar plant early fall#partial shade tolerant#bee friendly#Audubon#shrub borders#NC Wildflower of the Year#landscape plant sleuths course
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Hibiscus
    Species:
    moscheutos
    Family:
    Malvaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Distribution:
    Eastern U.S.
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Its flowers are attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators.  28 species of butterflies and moths use this as a caterpillar host plant.  Members of the genus Hibiscus support the following specialized bee: Ptilothrix bombiformis.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 7 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Oval 1–1¼" long seed capsules July to October.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Saucer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    White to pink blooms with a darker central eye are 6-9 inches wide with a prominent showy central staminal column. Bloom from June to September.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Velvety
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Dentate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Oval to lanceolate green leaves with toothed margins. Can be lobeless or have 3-5 shallow lobes. 3-8 inches long by 2-4 inches across. Undersides paler with hairs.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Basal stems are woody. New growth green and hairy
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Pond
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Salt
    Wet Soil