Hibiscus laevis (Halberd-leaved Rose Mallow)
|Also known as:||Smooth Rose Mallow|
|Habitat:||sun; marshes, shallow water|
|Bloom season:||July - September|
|Plant height:||3 to 6 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: OBL MW: OBL NCNE: OBL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are about 4 inches across with 5 round pinkish white overlapping petals, deep rose pink at the base and a column covered with creamy white stamens in the throat. At the end of the column is a stigma with 5 creamy, fuzzy round branches at the tip. 5 fused green sepals with sharp pointed tips enclose buds and flower base; up to 12 narrow, curving bracklets are below. Profuse flowering from the upper leaf axils
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are up to 6 inches long and 4 inches wide, hairless with finely toothed edges, triangular in outline with usually 2 triangular (more or less) lobes at the base, on a long leaf stalk. Stems are erect, hairless, sometimes branching.
Many are surprised when I talk about a large native mallow especially near downtown St. Paul. Un-approachable without canoe I collected seeds in winter (~99% parasitized) and grew them out in isolation in garden in Lino Lakes. Robust grower but needs some water in dry weather. I have approached many in the nursery industry to get this onto the market and some like Tom's Outback Nursery (retail) in Hastings and Northern Perennials (wholesale) in Ham Lake offer it for sale. Seeds can also be purchased from Prairie Moon Nursery (catalog/web).
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Halberd-leaved Rose Mallow, garden grown
- Halberd-leaved Rose Mallow, in the wild
- fighting a losing battle against purple loosestrife and reed canary grass
Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk, taken at Lilydale Park in St. Paul and at residential garden in Lino Lakes
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?