The Swamp Mallow Is Starting To Come Up Now

Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Yvonne Smith, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    I have two bushes (shrubs ?) of this pretty plant. It is supposed to grow over 4 feet tall; but mine has never even gotten to 3 feet so far.
    One plant has the white flowers with the deep ruby-red throat, and the second one is a pretty pink color. I just got the pink one last fall when Lowes had them on clearance sale.
    I did save some seeds from both of them, and I am going to try and start a few more plants from seeds this year.
    The swamp mallow is actually a form of hibiscus but it doesn't look anything like the Rose of Sharon bush, which is also a type of hibiscus.
    The flowers are very similar though.
    Here is a picture of the white one from when it was blooming last summer. They are late coming up, and the little sprouts are only a few inches tall right now; but soon they should be taller and bushy.

    image.jpeg
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Is that the same as the marsh mallow, which was used as the confection that later evolved into today's sugar-based treat?
     
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  3. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    They look almost identical as far as the size and the flowers; but apparently are a totally different plant, @Ken Anderson .
    The actual marsh mallow is native to Europe and was used both for medicinal purposes and as a common food, since it grows prolifically over there, even in salty soil near the oceans.
    The swamp mallow is actually a type of hibiscus, which it didn't say the marsh mallow was, and it is native to the southeastern United States, from Texas eastward.
    My guess would be that the swamp mallow looked so much like the marsh mallow of Europe, and grew in the same marshy grounds, that the early settlers just started calling it a swamp mallow.
    Here is what the botanical webpage says about the actual marsh mallow, and the roots of this plant are what was originally used to make the confection that we now call a marshmallow.

    I think that the marshmallows that we have now don't have any actual mallow root in them, however, from what I was able to find.
    Originally, the treat was made from the roots of the mallow plant, whipped and sweetened, which was popular, but a lot of work to make. Eventually, they started using the mixtures of sugar, water, gelatin and corn starch that is used in the marshmallows we have today.

    http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mallow07.html
     
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    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
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  4. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    The swamp mallows are blooming now, and the blossoms are around 4" across, and just beautiful ! I posted a picture before of the white one, and here is the pink one. It is almost a neon pink, and it is loaded with blooms.
    Out in the back yard, the four o'clocks are starting to get buds and we have some gorgeous purple morning glories blooming along the archway over the front walk.
    I think that one of my favorite things about summer is enjoying all of the flowers.
    image.jpeg
     
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  5. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    My swamp mallows are in bloom again ! The white one has one large blossom just opening, and the pink one has several blossoms, and one is over 4 inches across. They do not smell much; but they sure are beautiful, and the come back each year.
    Here is the pink one. I turned this picture into a painting for my avatar.
    IMG_0617.JPG
     
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  6. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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