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Hibiscus laevis

Pronunciation: Hi-bis-kus lee-viss
Family: Malvaceae (mallow family)
Common Name: Halberdleaf marshmallow, halberd-leaved marshmallow, halberd-leaved rose mallow, smooth marshmallow
Plant Type:
  • perennial
Height to: 7'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • mid summer
Bloom Description: The very showy flowers, about 6 in (15 cm) across, open for just one day with five petals that are pale pink with crimson bases. A succession of blooms may last most of the summer. The fruit is a capsule that splits at maturity to release seeds that are covered with dense reddish brown hairs.
Soil Type: Halberdleaf marshmallow grows in wetlands and is tolerant of poorly drained soils. Under ordinary garden conditions it will need regular irrigation.
Plant Perks:
  • Attracts Butterflies
Propagation: Hibiscus seeds have a hard seed coat which must be breached before they will germinate. Carefully pierce each seed with a needle, or rub with a nail file or sandpaper to create a tiny break in the seed coat that will allow moisture to seep in. You can also propagate additional plants by dividing the roots
Native to: Hibiscus laevis occurs naturally in swamps, marshes, ditches and along water bodies in eastern canada and central and eastern u. S. , south to northern florida and texas.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata a halberd is an ancient military hand weapon, like a long handled spear with a big double axe on the end, that was used by european soldiers in the 14th and 15 centuries. The weapon has been replaced by firearms and nuclear warheads, but the name lives on with this native american hibiscus, whose leaves have triangular lobes at their bases, then taper to a sharp narrow point. The leaves, 3-7 in (8-17 cm) long, and stems are glabrous (without hairs). Halberdleaf marshmallow can reach 7 ft (2. 1 m) in height, and is mostly without branches. The very showy flowers, about 6 in (15 cm) across, open for just one day with five petals that are pale pink with crimson bases. A succession of blooms may last most of the summer. The fruit is a capsule that splits at maturity to release seeds that are covered with dense reddish brown hairs. Although halberdleaf marshmallow is a rather obscure native american plant, it is becoming popular and is now offered by several plant nurseries
Located in: Perennials
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