Hibiscus coccineus
Common Name: scarlet rose mallow 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Malvaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Deep red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Water Plant, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Wet Soil


Grow in average, medium to wet soil in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun or light shade. Plants may become leggy with diminished flowering in too much shade. Tolerates summer heat and humidity, but soil should be kept moist throughout the growing season. Only reliably winter hardy to USDA Zone 6, so it should be grown in a protected location with a good winter mulch in the St. Louis area.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hibiscus coccineus is a vigorous, sturdy, erect, woody-based perennial that typically grows 3-6' tall and features showy, hollyhock-like, 5-petaled, bright scarlet red flowers (3-5" diameter) borne in the upper leaf axils of the plant over a long, mid-summer to early fall bloom period. Each flower has a prominent and showy center staminal column. Hemp-like, palmately compound, deep green leaves (5-6" wide). Sometimes commonly called swamp hibiscus because it is native to marshes and swamps in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

Genus name is the old Greek and Latin name for mallow.

Specific epithet means scarlet.


Some susceptibility to blight, canker, rust, leaf spots, aphids, scale, whiteflies and Japanese beetle. Taller plants may need staking.


A large plant for the rear of the perennial border, mixed border or courtyard. Also effective when grouped in moist locations such as along the edge of a pond or stream.