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 white-pubescent beneath; seeds glabrous, or nearly so.

Leaves glabrate, or stellate-hairy above; bractlets not ciliate.

Capsule glabrous or nearly so.

Corolla pink; capsule short-tipped.


H. Moscheutos.

Corolla white, with a crimson eye; capsule beaked.


H. oculiroseus.

Capsule stellate-pubescent.


H. incanus.

Leaves soft-hairy above; bractlets ciliate.


H. lasiocarpos.

Leaves glabrous on both sides; seeds hairy.


H. militaris.

Low hairy annual of waste places.


H. Trionum.

Tall woody shrub, escaped from gardens.


H. syriacus.

11 Hibiscus L Sp Pl 693 1753 1211

1. Hibiscus Moscheùtos L. Swamp Rose-Mallow. Mallow Rose

Fig. 2869

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.