Seaside Hibiscus
(Southern Seashore Mallow - Virginia Fen Rose - Virginia Saltmarsh Mallow)
Kosteletzkya virginica Var. althaeifolia
Syn. K. pentacarpas
Malvaceae (Mallow) Family

Plant is an upright herbaceous perennial. Preferred habitat is brackish to nearly freshwater marshes, edge of swamps, lakes and ponds. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region, but known primarily in the coastal area.

Leaves are 2 - 5 inches long, gray-green, egg-shaped and attached to a leaf stalk at the widest end, slightly hairy or rough. Leaf lobes are known to take different shapes and forms that distinguish it from all other mallow.

Flowers are 3 - 5 inches wide, 5 petals, numerous stamens that form a tubular column around the style, with anthers outside the saucer-like flower. Flowers occur in late summer and early autumn.

Fruit is a flat ring of 1-seeded segments

This mallow is especially abundant throughout brackish marshes of Alabama and northern Florida. A similar related species, K. pentasperma, is known only in south Florida.

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