Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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A tall soft-wooded shrub occasionally found throughout much of Florida in swamps, marshes and other wet areas, both brackish and freshwater. The range extends from southeastern Georgia through the southern coastal states into Texas.
The large flowers are solitary and grow from the leaf axils from May to September. There are 5 pink petals 10-15 cm (4-5 in.) long, spreading so as to not remain overlapping at the tips. The corolla has a dark reddish-purple center at the base of the petals. Five stigmas extend above the many stamens that are attached along the pistol. Narrow linear bracts surround the outer base of the flower. The alternate leaves are softly hairy, long stalked, three-lobed with a heart shaped base and toothed margins. These plants are often 2-3 meters (6-10 ft.) tall.
Sometimes cultivated in water gardens, the stems wither away in winter and re-sprout from the rootstock.