Rose Mallow

Lavatera trimestris


Malvaceae - Mallow Family

The Rose Mallow is an annual which grows quickly and lives for just one year. It can grow up to 4 feet.1 Bloom time is from midsummer to early fall, that is, July to September. It dies with the first frost. The Rose Mallow blooms heavily when alive. The hibiscus-like blooms are pink or white in color and are very attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds. The flowers are hermaphrodite, that is, have both male and female reproductive parts. 2

The plant is indigenous to the Mediterranean region, from Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Southern France to Turkey and the Levant, including the Balearic Islands, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta and Greece. It is naturalized in other some other locations in Europe as well as in North America, where it is frequently sold as a component of wildflower meadow seed mixes.3
It is an adaptable plant which tolerates wetness well.1 It requires full sun although a light shade may not pose a problem. This plant needs dry or moist soil which is well drained. Light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils are preferable. The plant can grow in nutritionally poor soil and tolerate maritime exposure. 2
To cultivate; the seed can be sown indoors in early spring and outdoors in late spring. It produces good seed in temperate climate and can sometimes self-sow. It usually cannot be transplanted and therefore should be sown where you want them to bloom.3 The spacing should be between 15-18 inches (38-45 cm).4
The Rose Mallow is a food plant for the Mallow Skipper and the Mallow Moth.3

References and Useful Websites:

1 Wildflower Information

2 Plants for a Future

3 The Lavatera Pages

4 Dave's Garden

This page was prepared by Munaza Shums, Biology 102, Fall 2011

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