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
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
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Size Class: 3-6 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom 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.
DistributionUSA: 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 ConditionsWater 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.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Deer Resistant: High
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording 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
BibliographyBibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Hibiscus lasiocarpos in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Hibiscus lasiocarpos in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Hibiscus lasiocarpos
MetadataRecord Modified: 2015-01-28
Research By: NPC