Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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VIRGINIA SALTMARSH MALLOW
VIRGINIA SWAMP MALLOW
Synonym: Hibiscus virginicus
A common shrub of brackish and freshwater marshes throughout much of Florida. The range includes the coastal states from Texas to New York, plus Pennsylvania.
Virginia saltmarsh mallow is hairy and grows to 1m (~3ft.) tall or more. The alternate leaves are petiolate, ovate, sometimes narrowly so, and may be lobed or unlobed. Flowers are solitary appearing both terminally and in the leaf axils, often drooping. The hibiscus-like corollas have five pink petals. The style branches out to five stigmas, which if not pollinated by birds or insects will curl down to reach the yellow anthers spaced along the column below to self-pollinate. The fruit is a hairy, five-chambered flattened capsule.