276 Hibiscus moscheutosCommon Names: swamp mallow, swamp hibiscus, swamp rose mallow Family: Malvaceae (mallow Family)
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.
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.
Hibiscus moscheutos occurs in swamps, marshes and ditches in the eastern United States from Massachusetts to Michigan and south to Texas and Florida.
CultureLikes good garden soil. Feed and mulch well. Light: Does best in full sun. Moisture: Water regularly. Swamp rose mallow prefers moist soils. Hardiness: USDA Zones 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.
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.
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