Venice mallow Hibiscus trionum L.
Family: Malvaceae (mallow family)
Life cycle: Annual
Native status: Introduced as an ornamental
Habitat: Crop fields
General description: Spreading to erect plant reaching heights of 1.5 ft. First two leaves are round with toothed margin; later leaves are deeply three-lobed with each lobe having rounded teeth. Flower petals are up to 1.5 in long; white to pale yellow with purple base. Seed capsule surrounded by a membranous bladder.
Key ID traits: Deeply lobed leaves; pale yellow to off-white flower petals with purple center.
Similar species: Seedlings of velvetleaf and Venice mallow are similar, but cotyledons of Venice mallow are glossier and more round than the heart-shaped cotyledons of velvetleaf.
Miscellaneous: Often referred to as Venus mallow. Introduced from Europe for use in flower gardens. Flower petals are short-lived, giving the plant an alternate name of ‘flower of an hour’.