Hibiscus laevis (Halberd-leaved Rose Mallow)
|Also known as:
|Smooth Rose Mallow
|sun; marshes, shallow water
|July - September
|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.
This native Hibiscus makes a great garden plant, but needs sufficient moisture to really thrive. It has persisted in my own garden for some years even through our seemingly endless droughts. There are several reports in iNaturalist of Hibiscus laevis around the Twin Cities area and southeast Minnesota, but at least some of those are more likely planted than naturally occurring populations.
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- 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 by K. Chayka taken in her garden. Photos by Peter M. Dziuk taken at Lilydale Park in St. Paul and in his garden in Lino Lakes.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?