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Hibiscus lasiocarpos (Woolly rose-mallow)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Hibiscus lasiocarpos

Hibiscus lasiocarpos Cav.

Woolly Rose-mallow, Woolly Mallow, Rose-mallow, False Cotton

Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Synonym(s): Hibiscus californicus, Hibiscus lasiocarpos var. occidentalis, Hibiscus leucophyllus, Hibiscus moscheutos ssp. lasiocarpos, Hibiscus moscheutos var. occidentalis, Hibiscus platanoides

USDA Symbol: hila6

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

An 3-5+ ft., upright, hairy perennial with toothed, triangular to heart-shaped leaves and terminal flower clusters. The leaves, toothed and alternate, have long stems, 4-6 inches. Stems are woody and somewhat brittle. The large white (occasionally pinkish) blossoms are 3-4 inches long, with a crimson eye at the center. The petals fold up at night and look as though they had never been open. Stamens extend beyond the flower.

False Cotton is so called because its flower closely resembles the flower of a cotton plant (Gossypium), which is in the same family.


From the Image Gallery

15 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 8 feet tall, often shorter.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Red , Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Clumps of hibiscus start to grow late in the season and flower over a long period in late summer.


USA: AL , AR , CA , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MO , MS , NM , OK , TN , TX
Native Distribution: MS & LA, n. in Mississippi River basin to KY, s. IL, IN & MO
Native Habitat: Borders of sloughs, ponds & ditches; low, wet woods

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
Conditions Comments: Grow in average, medium wet to wet soil in full sun. Tolerates some light shade; full sun produces best flowering and is the best environment for resisting potential diseases. Tolerates summer heat and humidity; soil should be kept moist throughout the seasons. Good for wetland gardens and habitat.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds
Deer Resistant: High

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Hibiscus lasiocarpos in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Hibiscus lasiocarpos in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Hibiscus lasiocarpos


Record Modified: 2023-02-14
Research By: NPC

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