Hibiscus moscheutos (Swamp Rose-Mallow)

Hibiscus flower

Zone: 5 - 9

Soil: Sand to clay

Light: Full to part sun

Bloom colour: White to pink

Bloom period: Mid-summer

Height: 5 - 7 feet

Moisture: Medium to moist

Attracts: Bees and hummingbirds

Notes: The swamp rose mallow has huge flowers that will entice anyone to take a second look. They are native to the Eastern half of North America as well as Ontario with some isolated populations further west.

This plant has taproots that can go a few feet into the soil enabling the plant to reach the water table. They are therefore found in low lying wetter areas where water is highly accessible. These plants will actually do quite well in a regular garden and as long as water is provided, they are not that fussy about soil type. The longer taproot will enable the plant to obtain water even when it has not rained for a few days, but a moisture retentive soil is advantageous because this Hibiscus is not adapted to survive drought at all.

The swamp mallow is a large and slightly messy plant that is difficult to place in an ornamental garden. It could definitely be used as a standalone and works with striking effect when planted en masse. It would also do well in a thicket with similar sized plants.

Hibiscus stigma with pollen

Hibiscus moscheutos flower
Hibiscus moscheutos reproductive parts
The reproductive parts of the flower are distinctive and similar in all Hibiscus species. The stigma are easy to see and, if you look carefully, you may be able to see the pollen grains sticking to them.
Hibiscus moscheutos growing in swamps
Hibiscus growing wild in swamps. It is a large being up to 7 feet in height and nearly as wide.