Seashore Mallow is a lovely, salt tolerant herbaceous perennial (some call it a subshrub) native to the Eastern shore of the U.S. The toothed, roughly triangular leaves and stems are softly hairy with tiny stellate (star-shaped) hairs. An obligate wetland plant, it thrives in full sunlight and wet soil. It is commonly grown very successfully in average garden soil as well, but it must not be allowed to totally dry out. Seashore Mallow is late to emerge in spring but it attains full size by July when many small (2-3″), delicate, hibiscus-like flowers begin to appear, from pale to deep pink, in the axils of the leaves and in terminal panicles. Five petals surround an amazing, prominent golden structure consisting of fused stamens and styles. Flowers each last one day, but there are many of them, and the blooming period is long, continuing into November most years. Seashore Mallow grows larger each year, reaching 5′-6′ in five or so seasons, at which time it might be a good idea to replace it with a younger individual. The Virginia Wildflower of the Year in 2004.