This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Herbs, shrubs, or in tropical regions even small trees, with dentate or lobed leaves, and showy, axillary or paniculate, mostly campanulate flowers. Bractlets of the involucels numerous, narrow. Calyx 5-cleft or 5-toothed. Column of stamens truncate or 5-toothed at the apex, anther-bearing below along much of its length. Ovary 5-celled, the cells 3-several-ovuled; style-branches 5, stigmatic at the capitate summit. Capsule 5-valved. Seeds reni-form. [An ancient name, used by Dioscorides for the Marsh Mallow.]
About 180 species, widely distributed in warm and temperate countries. In addition to the following, about 14 others occur in the southern and western United States. Type species: Hibiscus Trionum L.
Tall perennial herbs.
Leaves glabrate, or stellate-hairy above; bractlets not ciliate.
Capsule glabrous or nearly so.
Corolla pink; capsule short-tipped.
Corolla white, with a crimson eye; capsule beaked.
Leaves soft-hairy above; bractlets ciliate.
Leaves glabrous on both sides; seeds hairy.
Low hairy annual of waste places.
Tall woody shrub, escaped from gardens.
Hibiscus Moscheutos L. Sp. Pl. 693. 1753. Hibiscus palustris L. Sp. Pl. 693. 1753. Hibiscus opulifolius Greene, Leaflets 2: 65.
Erect, 4°-7° high, forming numerous cane-like stems from a perennial root. Leaves ovate or ovate-lanceolate, 3'-7' long, cordate or obtuse at the base, acute or acuminate at the apex, the lower or sometimes all lobed at the middle, palmately veined, dentate or crenate, densely white stellate-pubescent beneath, green and glabrous or slightly stellate above; petioles 1'-5' long; flowers 4-7' broad, pink, clustered on stout pedicels at the summits of the stems; peduncles often adnate to the petioles; bractlets linear, not ciliate, shorter than the calyx; calyx-lobes ovate; capsule ovoid, 1' long, glabrous or sparingly pubescent, abruptly short-pointed or blunt; seeds glabrous.
In brackish marshes, eastern Massachusetts to Florida and Louisiana, and on lake shores and in saline situations locally in the interior to western Ontario, Indiana and Missouri. Sea-hollyhock. Water- or swamp-mallow. Aug.-Sept.