Musk Mallow (Malva Moschata) (European) is a similar species with the leaves deeply and palmately slashed and toothed. Several hairy, branching stems proceed from the perennial root, to heights of one or two feet. The flowers are peculiar in that the ends of each of the five rose-colored petals are roughly notched, looking as though they had been bitten off.
This species received its name from the fact that when the leaves are crushed,, they give forth a slight odor of musk. The blossoms occur, singly or in pairs, from the axils of the leaves, near the ends of the branches. It blooms in July and August in waste places, often -along roadsides, where it has made its escape from gardens. ( It is now quite abundant in northern New England and southern Canada.
Rose Mallow. Hibiscus moscheutos.
Rose Mallow (Hibiscus Moscheutos) is a tall, leafy perennial, bearing flowers that easily rank as being among the largest and most beautiful of any of our wild flowers. The stem is quite stout and inclined to be hairy. The large leaves are ovate-pointed and toothed; they are stemmed, and alternate along the main plant stalk. The lower ones are often three-lobed.
The flowers grow on short stems at the end of the upright stalk. But one usually blooms at a time and there are not a great many buds; what they lack in profusion of bloom, this species fully makes up in size, for its blossoms measure four to six inches across. The five, large petals, are a delicate rose color, conspicuously veined, and often with crimson bases. The long, slender pistil divides at the tip, into five flat-headed stigmas; for more than half its length, it is encased in the long stamen column, the sides of which are covered with yellow anthers.
The Rose Mallow grows in swamps and marshes near the coast, from Mass., southwards, and along the shores of the Great Lakes to Mich. It blooms from July to September.
For twenty years a small colony of perhaps half a dozen of the beautiful plants grew in a certain swamp near Narragansett Bay in R. I. They were so surrounded by bogs that it was very difficult to reach them, but finally they were found by summer visitors and the plants, root and all, removed bodily. Such is the fate of our beautiful flowers.
Marsh Mallow (Althea Officialis) is a species that has been introduced from Europe and is found in some of the salt marshes near the coast. The leaves are downy, three-lobed, toothed and stout-stemmed. The hollyhock-like flowers are in small clusters from the angles of the leaves. The thick root furnishes material for confectionery.