by Eleanor Dietrich
This plant (Hibiscus aculeatus) is also sometimes called Comfortroot because its roots have been used medicinally as a soothing agent. It grows to three feet or more with several erect stems arising from a woody base. The leaves are deeply lobed and coarsely toothed along the margins. The stems and leaves are covered with short, stiff hairs, making them rough to the touch. The creamy white flowers are up to three inches wide with a maroon center; they open in the mornings and close by evening. They bloom from June through September, growing in moist open areas.