Our plant of the month for August is Hibiscus moscheutos – Swamp Rose Mallow. It’s a little bit different than the other plants we’ve featured so far because it volunteered at the Low Line. That means we didn’t go to a nursery and plant it on purpose, it just popped up. That doesn’t make it any less valuable to the space though, it’s native to Virginia and brings a lot to the table so we have embraced it as part of the landscape.
Swamp Rose Mallow brings beautiful showy blooms to the Low Line Garden from July to September, followed by seed pods that stand tall through the winter. The plant likes wet, marshy areas and even benefits from occasional flooding, making it happy so close to the water at the Low Line. Swamp Rose Mallow supports 28 species of butterflies and moths that use the plant as a caterpillar host plant. The seed heads also feed birds in the winter.
There are a variety of cultivars available and if you’re looking for it next time you’re at a nursery, some of the other common names are: rose mallow, swamp mallow, and marsh hibiscus.