These easy-to-grow plants bear blossoms resembling single hollyhocks (Alcea).Lavatera trimestris
Mediterranean native reaches 3–6 ft. tall and wide from spring-sown seed. Satiny flowers up to 4 in. across. The species is seldom seen in gardens; more commonly grown are named varieties with blossoms in white, pink, and rosy carmine. Bloom extends from midsummer to frost if spent flowers are removed to halt seed production. Thin seedlings to allow each plant ample room to spread. Makes a colorful, fast-growing summer hedge or background planting. In mild-winter regions, can also be sown in autumn for winter-to-spring bloom.
Compact (2–3 ft.) varieties include ‘Mont Blanc’, white; and ‘Silver Cup’, bright pink. ‘Loveliness’ has 3 1⁄2-in. flowers of deep rose veined in a deeper shade, grows up to 3–4 ft. tall and wide. Twins (‘Cool White’ and ‘Hot Pink’) grow to 16–20 in. high.
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Botanically speaking, violas, pansies, and almost all violets are perennials belonging to the genus