Rose Mallow

A couple of months ago on a visit to Mike's garden, he "forced" me to take some Iris (Yellow Flag) divisions, as well as what he called "Marsh Mallow". I planted both of them in large pots, and the mallow -- which I've now identified as "Rose Mallow", Hibiscus lasiocarpos (or "lasiocarpus") -- is now starting to bloom.

I wasn't sure what to expect with this plant, but now that I've ID'd it and can see what the blooms are like... wow. I didn't expect much from this plant this year, as it did just get uprooted. This is a Missouri native, and its 6-inch blooms are among the biggest of our wildflowers. Nice!


The only potential problem with this plant in my garden is it prefers moist or wet soils -- probably why Mike called it "Marsh Mallow" -- and my yard doesn't have any wet areas. Since my whole property is on a slope, water doesn't collect anywhere.

Still though, I'm going to have to find a spot for this plant somewhere. The flowers are too impressive, and the bees -- well, they just love it!

Even quite early in the morning these bees were crazily flying between the six blooms that were open, zipping in close and deciding in an instant that it's not worth landing on this bloom yet. Very frustrating when you're trying to snap photos!

Every once in a while one landed though, and collected pollen and probably got a sip of nectar too. I love photos of pollen on bees!

The bees weren't the only insects liking this plant, as this species of small leafhopper was quite prevalent:

Those were three different individuals, all within easy reach of the camera lens. I wonder how many more there were?

So this is my first look at rose mallow in my garden. I like it! They're supposed to bloom until fall, which would be fantastic. We'll see what happens though. 

I really need to find a spot in the ground for this!


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Renee  – (July 15, 2012 at 12:54 PM)  

Very pretty! If it likes moist soil, might there be a spot close to your pond that qualifies? Or potted up in the pond, like cannas or other plants can be? Or is that too wet? Your pictures are beautiful as always.

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (July 15, 2012 at 1:03 PM)  

Beautiful! If I had more room, I'd plant a couple of hibiscus. I love the flowers.

Andrea  – (July 15, 2012 at 8:22 PM)  

Wow, awesome photos of a beautiful hibiscus. I love its color, unfortunately it is suited to our clime.

Kathy G  – (July 15, 2012 at 9:16 PM)  

I have a hibiscus planted next to my deck. It's not a particularly moist area, but after the plant got established (about a dozen years ago) it's done well.

Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (July 16, 2012 at 11:00 AM)  

These are Wow!! Alan, my Hibiscus don't get much water - one is planted in a hoile surrounded by cement and never gets watered unless it rains and it looks good all year round. In my garden its not just the bees that love it, the birds LOVE the hibiscus.

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