Comfort Root - Pinelands Mallow - Savannah Hibiscus
Cut-leaf Hibiscus
Hibiscus aculeatus (Walter)
Malvaceae (Mallow) Family

Plant is an upright, hairy perennial. Preferred habitat is savannas, roadsides, ditches and dense pine woods. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are long-stalked, palmately lobed with three or more veins arising from the stalk at the center of its base; toothed and squared.

The flower are solitary on a long stalk; yellowish white to creamy or snowy white. Flowers occur in the summer.

Fruit is a capsule (resembles a small pod of okra); bristly, with short barbs.

A pollinator, while making its rounds in search of nectar, touches the flower stigma with pollen from another flower.  In so doing it loses most of its pollen load.   To get at the nectar within it must burrow deeper into the blossom, thus picking up a new load of pollen - repeating the process at the next flower, the little insect has unwittingly achieved cross-pollination without much to show for a day's work.

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