Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Hibiscus moscheutos L.
- Family: Mallow (Malvaceae)
- Flowering: August-September
- Field Marks: This rosemallow differs from other similar rosemallows by its narrower leaves which at maturity are smooth on the upper surface and by its smooth capsules.
- Habitat: Marshes, swamps, shores of lakes.
- Habit: Robust perennial herb with thickened roots.
- Stems: Upright, smooth or sometimes hairy, up to 7 feet tall.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, ovate, pointed at the tip, rounded at the base, toothed, slightly hairy
on the upper surface, but becoming smooth at maturity, usually with star-shaped hairs on the lower
surface, up to 7 inches long, on stalks up to 5 inches long.
- Flowers: Several near the tip of the stem, subtended by several narrow bracts.
- Sepals: 5, green, ovate, united below.
- Petals: 5, usually white or cream-colored with a red or purple base, free from each other, up to
4 inches long.
- Stamens: Numerous, attached to a central column.
- Pistils: Ovary superior; stigmas 5, at the tip of the central column.
- Fruits: Capsules ovoid, smooth, up to 1 inch long.
- Notes: This is one of the most beautiful wetland herbs in North America. The leaves are variable
in hairiness and shape.
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