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Hibiscus coccineus

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Kemper Code:  D270

Common Name: scarlet rose mallow
Zone: 6 to 9
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Malvaceae
Missouri Native: No
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Height: 3 to 6 feet
Spread: 2 to 3 feet
Bloom Time: June - September   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: Deep red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium

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Plant Culture and Characteristics

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Grow in average, medium to wet soil in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun or light shade. Plants may become leggy with diminished flowering in too much shade. Tolerates summer heat and humidity, but soil should be kept moist throughout the growing season. Only reliably winter hardy to USDA Zone 6, so it should be grown in a protected location with a good winter mulch in the St. Louis area.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

A vigorous, sturdy, erect, woody-based perennial that typically grows 3-6' tall and features showy, hollyhock-like, 5-petaled, bright scarlet red flowers (3-5" diameter) borne in the upper leaf axils of the plant over a long, mid-summer to early fall bloom period. Each flower has a prominent and showy center staminal column. Hemp-like, palmately compound, deep green leaves (5-6" wide). Sometimes commonly called swamp hibiscus because it is native to marshes and swamps in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.


Some susceptibility to blight, canker, rust, leaf spots, aphids, scale, whiteflies and Japanese beetle. Taller plants may need staking.


A large plant for the rear of the perennial border, mixed border or courtyard. Also effective when grouped in moist locations such as along the edge of a pond or stream.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011

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  High resolution image available.