Bush Mallow

26 Feb

 

Bush Mallow (Lavatera), 6-10 ft., pink flowers in summer and throughout the year, full sun to part shade, drought tolerant, cut back hard in winter to maintain density. Dwarf varieties available.

These easy-to-grow plants bear blossoms resembling single hollyhocks (Alcea).

Lavatera maritima
Native to the western Mediterranean. Grows quickly to 6–8 ft. tall and about as wide, with gray-green, 2 1/2-in. maple-like leaves and a summer-long show of light pink, 2–3-in. flowers with dark rose veining and a deep purple center. Open grower; cut back hard to keep it compact.

Lavatera thuringiaca
Native to central and southeastern Europe. Resembles Lavatera maritima but has denser growth, greener leaves. Flowers are purplish pink, 3 in. across, nearly everblooming (except in colder-winter zones). The shrub grows 4 to 6 ft. high and wide, is deciduous in the colder part of its range.

Lavatera trimestris
Mediterranean native reaches 3–6 ft. tall and wide from spring-sown seed. Satiny flowers up to 4 in. across. Species is seldom seen in gardens; more commonly grown are named varieties with blossoms in white, pink, rosy carmine. Bloom extends from midsummer to frost if spent flowers are removed to halt seed production.

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