Friday, November 14, 2008

The Last Blooms of Wild Cotton

In the edge of the woods near my house I photographed this white blossom before the first autumn frosts of the season. Called Wild Cotton by many locals, the Swamp Mallow is a perennial wetland plant usually found in areas such as swamps, marshes, ponds, ditches and wet woods throughout Itawamba County. A native of the southeastern United States, this plant has showy blossoms throughout the summer and fall and can grow as high as seven or eight feet tall.


Anonymous said...

Bob, are the wild cotton plant "kin" to the "Rose of Sharon" of "Lilac" bushes. About 40 or 45 years ago, we were building a "living fence" along the back of our lot and planted a variety of colors of the Rose of Sharon (in Alabama we knew these same bushes as Lilac, maybe because of the lilac color of the blooms) and from my memory of the white flowered bush, it looks just like this bloom. We get some wild surprises when we buy bare rooted and propogated plants. Our oldest son and wife were living in Longview, TX in the mid 70's, and I purchased a Tropicana rose bush and for several years, we had the most fragrant roses off the patio, but from either cutting it to low in the spring or getting a wild shoot come up from the rooting part of the plant, I got the funniest colored flowers that didn't have any fragrance to it at all. (Someone fooled Mother Nature, and she got even!)bettye

Bob Franks said...

Bettye, I think Wild Cotton and Rose of Sharon may be cousins. I have several Rose of Sharon bushes up against my house and the color of the blooms are anywhere from purple through pink to white. The blooms are a lot smaller on the Rose of Sharon than on Wild Cotton (also called Marsh Mallow, Swamp Mallow) but they are both a member of the hibiscus family.