Education - Plants

Swamp Rose Mallow FlowerSwamp Rose Mallow
(Hibiscus moscheutos Welw. ex Hiern.)

Kingdom:  Plantae
Division:  Magnoliophyta
Class:  Magnoliopsida
Order:  Malvales
Family:  Malvaceae
Genus:  Hibiscus
Species:  moscheutos


Swamp Rose Mallow BushCharacteristics: The Swamp Rose Mallow is a multi-stemmed, shrub-like, herbaceous perennial. It can grow up to 7 feet tall. The leaves are usually 2 to 3 inches wide by 6 to 8 inches long, velvety to the touch on the underside and smooth on top. The flowers are about 6 inches in diameter, with white or pink petals and crimson centers. The swamp-rose mallow dies back in winter and re-sprouts in the spring. It reproduces via seeds or root division.

Habitat: The swamp rose mallow inhabits swamps, marshes and ditches; it grows best in full sun.

Range: It can be found throughout the southeastern United States from Texas to the Atlantic states with its territory extending northward to southern Ontario.

Native American Uses: It is unknown if local Native American Tribes utilized this species; however the Shinnecock Indians used it as a urinary aid and to treat inflamed bladders.

Modern Uses: This type of hibiscus is not edible, but it is commonly used as decoration or as natural borders. They are also effective along streams or ponds.