Poeppig’s Rosemallow, Beach Botany

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A rare & endangered species, Poeppig’s Rosemallow, Hibiscus poeppigii, is endemic to the pine-rocklands of Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. Poeppigii is a woody shrub that averages 1’to 2’ in height. The plant grows on a single stem from a taproot. The main stem quickly turns into multiple woody stems. Toothed leaves are simple and alternate on the stem. Leaves are 1-1/2” long and 1” in width.

Blooming occurs year-round with flowers in the leaf axils. Inflorescence is solitary. Five bright red petals make up the corolla that rests on a calyx of several greenish sepals with pointed tips.  Projecting from the center of the corolla is a pistil with brushy stigma. Tiny stamens are on top of the pistil. Fruit is a 5-valved capsule.

Malvaceae (Mallow) is the plant family. There are 12 species in the Genus Poeppigii, three are not native. The specimen in the photo is in my front yard, acquired through the Native Plant Society.