Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hibiscus coccineus......Scarlet Rose Mallow

Some common names for Hibiscus coccineus are Scarlet Rose Mallow, Texas Star, Scarlet Hibiscus. 

 The Scarlet Hibiscus is a slender shrubby herbaceous perennial that in its natural habitat, dies back in winter and re-sprouts in spring.  Established plants can have one to several stems up to 7 ft tall. flowers are brilliant crimson red and 6-8 in across.  Each lasts only a day but new ones continue to open all summer and Autumn.  The leaves are divided palmately, like the fingers on a hand,  into 3/7 narrow, pointed, serrated lobes.

 The scarlet hibiscus, from the family Malvaceae, occurs naturally in swamps, marshes and ditches, from southern Georgia and Alabama to central Florida
It is one of the largest and most beautiful of North American native flowers. it often causes people to do a double take as whilst growing as it somewhat resembles a marijuana plant.  
The resemblance quickly ends when the plant bursts forth with its startling flowers in summer!

Likes sun or part shade,  moist-wet soil and  tolerates heat/humidity.

Deep red flowers with a lush tropical appeal. Red-purple stems and deeply cut maple-like foliage that waxes redder through the late summer and fall. The wetter the site, the taller it grows.

There is also a pure white form known as 'Swamp Angel'.