Hibiscus moscheutos

Swamp Mallow, Swamp Hibiscus, Swamp Rosemallow


Plant Specifics

Size:2-6 ft tall by 2-4 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:White,pink
Fruit Color:Brown
Phenology:Winter dormant
Noted for:Showy flowers


Recommended Uses:Use in moist areas as a wildflower. It is semi-woody, and if given adequate moisture can be a specimen plant.
Propagation:Seed. Tip cuttings taken in early summer root readily with adequate moisture.
Availability:Native nurseries, Seed
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Stays Wet ----- to ----- Somewhat moist, no flooding)
Moisture Tolerance: Stays Wet ----- to ----- Somewhat moist, no flooding
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Tolerant of inundation with brackish water
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Some tolerance to salty wind but not direct salt spray.
Soil or other substrate:Organic material (muck), Sand
Soil pH:Acidic



Pollinated by bees, especially bumblebees and solitary anthophorid bees (Ptilithrix bombiformis).  Butterflies are attracted to the nector.


  • Larval host of  Gray Hairstreak, Painted Lady Butterfly, Common Checkered Skipper and Tropical Checkered Skipper butterflies and  four moths : Pearly Wood Nymph, Yellow Scallop Moth, Io Moth,  and Delightful Bird-Dropping Moths.
  • Attracts butterflies and  native bees (including the Rose-mallow Bee which is a Hibiscus specialist), beetles, etc. 

Native Habitats:Wet sites. Wet pine flatwoods, edges of sloughs, swamps, bogs, brackish and freshwater marshes and ditches.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


Ethnobotany:The stems become slimy when cooked and can be whipped into a fluffy consistency (like egg whites). This was mixed with sugar and used as a delivery system for bad tasting medicines. These were the original "marshmallows."