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Lavatera

Tree Mallow
Malvaceae
Annuals, Deciduous, Evergreen, Shrubs

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

Lavatera assurgentiflora

Evergreen shrub. Native to Southern California’s Channel Islands but naturalized on the coastal mainland. Erect growth to 12 ft. tall and wide. Maplelike leaves are lobed and toothed. Rosy lavender, white-striped, 2–3-in.-wide flowers bloom almost throughout the year, heaviest from midspring tolate summer. Resists wind, saltspray. Use as fast-growing windbreak hedge. Will reach 5–10 ft. and bloom first year from seed. Shear to keep dense. Little to moderate water.

Lavatera maritima

Native to 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. Needs partial to full shade in Zones 12 and 13.

Lavatera thuringiaca
Lavatera thuringiaca

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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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