Flower of the Day: Swamp Rosemallow

Hibiscus moscheutos; Malvaceae (mallow family)


This cousin of halberd-leaf rose mallow (fotd 8/7) likes it really, really wet, as you can see.


Last week I found a single clump; couldn’t get up close for photos without going for a wade.




A few days later, though, I found one right on the canal edge, facing my direction, even, and in full sunlight, too!  So out with the tripod and macro lens to have some fun getting up close and personal.


This flower measures four or five inches across.  Really quite showy, except early in the morning when she hasn’t yet awakened:

20140825-DSC_0024Here’s enough detail for a basic anatomy lesson.  On the left side are the five tall pistils, typical of flowers in the mallow family.  You can clearly see the stigmas perched atop the styles. Click on the picture to see the details – it’s incredible what a good lens can capture.20140825-DSC_0172Surrounding the pistils are dozens of stamens, golden anthers topping the white filaments, which form a tube at least an inch long.

Nearby I found a halberd-leaved rosemallow just opening, so I got up close and personal with it, too:

20140826-DSC_0008  You can see the same basic floral structures in this species, though the anthers are pink rather than yellow.

These two species are found throughout the eastern and southern US.  They are the only native Hibiscus found along the Potomac, though you’ll also find the common garden plant Rose of Sharon (H. syriacus) in the same area.

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