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Hibiscus moscheutos (Crimson-eyed rose-mallow)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Hibiscus moscheutos

Hibiscus moscheutos L.

Crimson-eyed Rose-mallow, Marshmallow Hibiscus

Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Synonym(s): Hibiscus incanus, Hibiscus moscheutos ssp. incanus, Hibiscus moscheutos ssp. moscheutos, Hibiscus moscheutos ssp. palustris, Hibiscus moscheutos var. purpurascens, Hibiscus oculiroseus, Hibiscus opulifolius, Hibiscus palustris, Hibiscus pinetorum

USDA Symbol: himo

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

This is a 3-8 ft., shrubby perennial with numerous sturdy stems arising from a single crown. The large, heart-shaped leaves are grayish-green above and hairy-white below. The showy, five-petaled, creamy-white to pink flowers often have a conspicuous band of red or burgundy at their bases from which a tubular column of yellow stamens extends.

This strikingly showy species is often found along edges of salt marshes but is more common in upper-valley wetlands.


From the Image Gallery

26 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 8 feet tall.
Leaf: Gray-Green
Fruit: Brown

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Red , Pink
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AL , AR , CA , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MI , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , UT , VA , WI , WV
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: FL to TX, n. to NJ, WV, OH & IN
Native Habitat: Swampy forests; wet meadows; marshes

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Drought Tolerance: Low
Aquatic: yes
Soil Description: Moist to wet, slightly acidic soils.
Conditions Comments: Clumps of Hibiscus start to grow late in the season and flower over a long period in late summer.


Use Wildlife: Hummingbirds
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Hummingbirds


Description: Rose mallow is easily grown from seed. Tip cuttings taken in early July root readily with adequate mist.
Seed Collection: Beaked capsules mature and turn brown withing 4-5 weeks from flowering. Seeds are ready to collect when they are dark-brown. If necessary, separate good seeds from those infested with weevils and store in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Commercially Avail: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native shade plants around fountain in California
March 18, 2009
Hi, we just put a fountain in our front yard. It is in a mostly shady area. I need to know what plants would go best around the fountain and survive in the shade.
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Nueces River Authority - Uvalde, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1283 Collected 2009-07-11 in Harris County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

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

Research Literature

Reslit 102 - Age of maturity and life span in herbaceous, polycarpic perennials (2000) M. H. Bender, J. M. Baskin and C. C. Baskin
Reslit 780 - The effect of petal size manipulation on pollinator/seed-predator mediated female reproductive success of Hibiscus moscheutos (1998) H. Kudoh and D. F. Whigham
Reslit 842 - Influence of seed age and inbreeding on germination and seedling growth in Hibiscus moscheutos (Malvaceae) (2001) H. Liu and T. P. Spira
Reslit 907 - Replacing Conventional Nursery Crop Nutrient Inputs with Vermicompost for Container Production of Hibiscus moscheutos L. 'Luna Blush' (2009) M. S. McGinnis, S. L. Warren and T. E. Bilderback
Reslit 1106 - Greenhouse growth and acclimatization of encapsulated Hibiscus moscheutos nodal segments (2006) J. E. Preece and T. P. West
Reslit 1319 - Pollen vigour and the potential for sexual selection in plants (1991) A. A. Snow and T. P. Spira
Reslit 1321 - Pollen-tube competition and male fitness in Hibiscus moscheutos (1996) A. A. Snow and T. P. Spira
Reslit 1334 - The timing and effectiveness of sequential pollinations in Hibiscus moscheutos (1996) T. P. Spira, A. A. Snow and M. N. Puterbaugh
Reslit 1487 - Use of acephate, benomyl and alginate encapsulation for eliminating culture mites and fungal contamination from in vitro cultures of hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos L.) (2006) T. P. West and J. E. Preece
Reslit 1488 - Bulk alginate encapsulation of Hibiscus moscheutos nodal segments (2009) T. P. West and J. E. Preece

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-14
Research By: TWC Staff

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