Salt Marsh Mallow
(Southern Seashore Mallow - Virginia Fen Rose - Virginia Saltmarsh Mallow Kosteletzkya virginica (L) Gray
Var: althaefolia

Malvaceae (Mallow) Family

Salt Marsh Mallow is a tall, branched, perennial herb to 6 feet. The texture is coarse and hairy. Its preferred habitat is salt, brackish, freshwater marshes, ditches, and the edge of swamps. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

The leaves are broadly ovate in outline; yellow-green, toothed and pointed. The under side of the leaf is whitish with downy hairs.

The flowers arise from the axil, opening wide. The stamens are numerous and fused into a column around the style. The anthers protrude outside the bowl effect of the petals. The cluster of stigmas protruding from the end of the column may be red or yellow similar to the Musk Mallow. The Musk Mallow petal is notched and the base is wedge-shaped.

Fruit is flat ring of 1-seeded carpels (the major characteristic that distinguishes this plant from Hibiscus.

This strikingly showy species is often mistaken for H. moscheutos (Swamp Rose Mallow), except moscheutos has a red or purple throat. The Salt Marsh Mallow is distinguished from Seaside Mallow by the occasional reddish streaks running down the petal and the difference in leaf shape. The leaf of Seashore Mallow has divergent basal lobes.

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