Halberd Leaved Swamp Mallow, Soldier Rose Mallow

Hibiscus laevis

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hibiscus (hi-BIS-kus) (Info)
Species: laevis (LEE-viss) (Info)
Synonym:Hibiscus militaris
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4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Bloom Color:



White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Wilmington, Delaware

Yale, Iowa

Barbourville, Kentucky

Calvert City, Kentucky

Owensboro, Kentucky

La Place, Louisiana

Violet, Louisiana

Bellaire, Michigan

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Kure Beach, North Carolina

Prosperity, South Carolina

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas

Center, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Houston, Texas

Kurten, Texas

Longview, Texas

Pottsboro, Texas

Kennewick, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 9, 2007, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Halberd Leaved Swamp Mallow, Soldier Rose Mallow
Hibiscus laevis, is Native to Texas and other States.


On Jun 14, 2004, msflash from Yantis, TX wrote:

We live on Lake Fork, that is near Tyler Texas, there is one in the back flower bed that was here when they built the house in 1995-It blooms every year. These also grow wild in the Mississippi Delta, you can see them all along the highway, and in the cotton fields--


On Sep 28, 2003, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have moved 2 of these plant into my garden. Where I live they have pulled the lake down I mean way down and I found tow one branched plants where they will not live when the water comes back up do I transplanted them into my garden. One is the white and the other is pink. The pink was ever so light almost white and with the change in soil I guess it now has a very strong pink color. The e=white has took off and is actually is a plant now. It is not really attractive as something has been eating the leaves but I feel sure it will come right back out. The 7 foot tall plant is beside my dock and it is ever faithful every year we can expect to pass by the pretty flowers.


On Mar 23, 2002, HibLady wrote:

Hibiscus laevis is a widely distributed native species "endemic" to the Mississippi and Ohio River valley drainages; especially common in riverine areas of Texas and Louisianna but ranging up the Miss. valley to Illinois and eastward into Michigan. Colors range from white to deep pink, usually with small red eyespots and somewhat to very tight, tubular calyx and large, round, very fuzzy seeds. Leaves very dimorphic across different populations; H. dasycalyx, a Texas endemic species, is similar to H. laevis, but has extremely hairy calyces and frequently fuzzy pods, whereas H. laevis populations are hairless (all organs, including leaves).


On Aug 21, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Halberd-leaf hibiscus is easily identified by its distinctive 3-lobed leaves. A large shrubby plant, it provides large beautiful blooms in colors ranging from pure white to dark pink (all with a maroon "bulls-eye" throat.)

Sources indicate that this plant is also known by H. militaris, an apt name since the leaf shape resembles a halberd, a type of spearlike weapon utilized in early warfare.