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The Hibiscus plants listed on this page are hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos). They differ from tropical hibiscus in that they thrive in non-tropical climates. Hardy hibiscus is also known as Rose Mallow or Swamp Mallow. Hardy hibiscuses are native to North America and most of the varieties we grow today were hybridized from these native plants. One of the earliest promoters of hardy hibiscus was John Bartram (1699-1777). He gathered wild versions of the hibiscus and introduced them to the rest of the world. Modern cultivars began with Robert Darby who introduced the Lady and Lord Baltimore hibiscus and they are still popular today.
Hardy hibiscus blooms are large, ranging from 3 to 4inches across all the way to 10 to 12 inches across. The blooms are delicate, tissue-like, and colorful. Colors range from the basic white, pink and red, to bi-colored, hot pink, raspberry, rose, and plum. Plant sizes are varied and range from large to more compact sizes. Even though the plants have woody stems, they die back to the ground each winter and are classified as perennials. Hardy hibiscus begins blooming in mid-summer and bloom until the first frost. Each flower lasts for only 1 day but each plant can produce hundreds of flowers.