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Pink or white, saucer-shaped flowers bloom for months through the heat of the summer and beyond. The showy, three-lobed leaves are in the shape of the halberd (an axe blade with a spike and long shaft) used in medieval times. The genus name Hibiscus means mallow in Latin and Greek, and the species name laevis means smooth, referring to the hairless leaves (another common name is smooth rose-mallow). 


This hibiscus grows up to 6' tall in full sun or light shade. It will adapt to a range of soils, although it prefers rich, moist or wet soils that are well drained. The dramatic blooms and foliage are mostly resistant to pests and diseases and to deer browse. 


Use in pollinator gardens, along streams and ponds, in the back of a border, woodlands, and in rain gardens or other wet areas. 


Plant Characteristics:

Grows 4-6' tall and 3-4' wide.


Grows best in full sun but tolerates light shade.


Prefers rich, medium to wet soils. 


Blooms June-September.


Wildlife Value:

Host plant for 23 species of Lepidoptera larvae, including spiny oak-slug moth and 7 specialists (one with the highly descriptive name of "exposed bird-dropping moth"). Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Deer may browse the plant if nothing else is available. 



National Wildlife Federation:


Hibiscus, Halberd-Leaved, Hibiscus laevis

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