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Audubon® Swamp Rose Mallow
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A full-service wildlife café! Swamp Rose Mallow is a popular dining spot with a diverse clientele. When the showy, six-inch, pink flowers open in summer and the nectar is flowing, hummingbirds are eager customers. Tiger swallowtail butterflies, bumblebees, and other pollinators frequent the flowers, too. There’s even a native bee called the Rose Mallow bee that forages specifically on its pollen. Swamp Rose Mallow also serves up its foliage to many species of moth and butterfly caterpillars, which in turn become meals for songbirds. These protein-rich morsels are vital to the development of their baby chicks.
May Benefit & Attract: Hummingbirds and songbirds
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 5-9
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Recommended by Our Growers
Judging by its big, flashy flowers and large leaves, you’d probably assume that Swamp Rose Mallow was some sort of tender, tropical houseplant from Hawaii or South America. In fact, this tough, cold-hardy perennial Spirit is native to Massachusetts. From there, its range reaches down to Texas and Florida. Swamp Rose Mallow is found in sunny, wet areas, often growing right in the water. Here Red-Wing Blackbirds nest among its sturdy stems, and ducks like the northern pintail and the Blue-Winged Teal eat its seeds. And of course, Hummingbirds can be seen constantly zipping around the flowers.
If they don’t become bird food, some of the caterpillars that Swamp Rose Mallow hosts become interesting adults. There is the Painted Lady butterfly, the Io moth, and the Pearly Wood nymph. Then there is a funny insect called the “delightful bird-dropping moth”! It’s actually kind of cute—even though the name is spot-on.
How to Grow
If you’re fortunate enough to have a pond or natural wetland area on your property, you really should plant some Swamp Rose Mallow. It’s beautiful, and the wildlife will love you for it! If you don’t have that kind of site, have no fear. Any regularly irrigated garden bed will do—it does not have to be sopping wet. Make sure the plant gets full sun; shade will lead to powdery mildew and poor flowering. Swamp Rose Mallow is one of the last plants to emerge each year. Don’t give up hope if you can’t find it in the spring!
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