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Hibiscus palustris
Hibiscus palustris | CrHibiscus palustrisimson-eyed Rose-mallow, Swamp Rose-mallow, Mallow-rose

Hibiscus palustris is another north American member of section Muenchhusia, which is composed of hardy, herbaceous, perennial Hibiscus species. The 5 recognized species are Hibiscus coccineus, Hibiscus dasycalyx, Hibiscus grandiflorus, Hibiscus laevis and Hibiscus moscheutos. Both Hibiscus lasiocarpos and Hibiscus palustris can be split from Hibiscus moscheutos. There is ongoing debate among taxonomists regarding the status of Hibiscus moscheutos and Hibiscus palustris —some recognize two separate species based on characteristics such as shape of seed capsule and leaves, and pubescence of the branches.

Although Hibiscus palustris is found naturally in marshes or pond edges, this striking perennial will grow well in garden soil that is not too dry. It starts to grow late in the spring and eventually makes a big clump which can live for years. Blooms cluster on branch tips from mid-summer to fall. The more common form of Hibiscus palustris has large pink flowers. Hibiscus palustris forma peckii has large white flowers with a red eye.

Historical Reference: SWAMP ROSE MALLOW. HIBISCUS, Hibiscus palustris. A perennial plant, native of the swamps of North America, from Canada to Carolina, which it adorns with its fine rosy blossoms. It was one of the first species introduced from the New World ; and yet it is very rarely cultivated in this country, because it seldom or never flowers in the open border, where, being quite hardy, it is usually placed. This is, we believe, owing to the general lowness of our isothermal temperature. Mr. Colvill, with whom it has now flowered, informs us, that not knowing of what country his plant was native, and finding that in a Greenhouse it did not thrive, he put it in a stove, when it at length unfolded its magnificent blossoms.We suppose it is possible to increase it either by division of its perennial root, or by cuttings, although its soft annual stem is but ill adapted to the latter operation. Its seeds may be procured abundantly from North America, and are, in fact, often imported for sale along with other American productions.With our wild specimens-from South Carolina, gathered by the late Mr. Frazer, the Garden plant agrees sufficiently. Cavanilles says his flowers in the Garden at Madrid had a yellowish white colour; but Pursh, and all other authors, describe them as purple or rosy red.

Edwards's botanical register, Volumes 1-18
J. Lindley
Ridgway, 1831