Monday, September 19, 2011

Salt Marsh Mallow

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I collected the seed from this plant several years ago on a trip to the Gulf. There was a stand of plants about a foot tall growing in sand. They had pretty soft pink flowers, and of course I just wanted to grow them. The seed germinated and I kept this one in a pot for several years. At last I put it in the ground and it began to really grow. I have only recently found out the scientific name  (and common name,too) and boy is it a tongue twister: Kosteletzkya virginica. It is a member of the cotton family as you can see by the flower form. Along with the name I also found out that it is a short lived perennial, living usually about 5 years, so it should be allowed to reseed around in order to keep it going. I must have had this one about 5 years. I will need to be sure and collect some seed this year because I would not want to be without it as it has been a great joy to me ever since I planted it in the flower bed and gave it some room to expand. I have seen some hibiscusy looking plants around in the bed that I do not remember planting, so maybe some of them are seedlings of this plant. This plant is about 3-4 feet wide and about 4 feet tall. This year it did not start blooming till August, perhaps because it was so dry.. It is said to like moisture but it has bloomed well without much this year.

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