Scarlet rosemallow (Hibiscus coccineus)
Click on terms for botanical definitions.
Scarlet rosemallow (also known as scarlet hibiscus) is an herbaceous to semi-woody perennial wildflower that is common along wetland and stream edges, and in swamps and other wet, open sites. In late spring and throughout summer, it produces large, crimson blooms that remain open for only one day. Scarlet rosemallow is a profuse bloomer, however, and will typically produce many flowers throughout the summer. Its leaves are alternately arranged, palmate and deeply lobed.
Scarlet rosemallow, like other plants with deep, red flowers, is very attractive to hummingbirds.
Family: Malvaceae (Mallow family)
Native range: Eastern Panhandle, north and central peninsula, Collier, Broward and Okaloosa counties
To see where natural populations of scarlet rosemallow have been vouchered, visit florida.plantatlas.usf.edu.
Soil: Prefers moist to wet, rich soils but can be acclimated to well-drained soils with enough moisture
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Growth habit: 3-7’+ tall with 2–5’ spread
Propagation: Seed, cutting
Garden tips: Scarlet rosemallow is a great addition to any moist or wet landscape or in areas that receive plenty of moisture. It will die back in the winter and should be pruned or mowed to the ground in the fall as it goes dormant. It has no known pests.
Scarlet rosemallow seeds are available through the Florida Wildflowers Growers Cooperative. Plants are often available at nurseries that specialize in native plants. Visit PlantRealFlorida.org to find a native nursery in your area.