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From Europe; naturalized in U.S. These plants are related to and somewhat resemble hollyhock (Alcea), but they are bushier, with smaller, roundish to heart-shaped leaves. Bloom from summer to fall. Easy to grow; need good drainage, average soil. Grow from seed; usually bloom first year. Use in perennial borders or for a quick tall edging. Not long lived.

Malva alcea

Perennial. To 4 ft. tall, 2 ft. wide; upper leaves deeply divided. Saucer-shaped pink flowers to 2 in. wide.

Malva moschata, photo courtesy of Howard Rice/GAP Photos/Getty Images
Malva moschata, photo courtesy of Howard Rice/GAP Photos/Getty Images

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Malva moschata

Erect, branching plant to 3 ft. high, 2 ft. wide. Finely cut leaves; pink or white flowers to 1 in. wide or somewhat wider. Entire plant emits a mild, musky odor if brushed against or bruised. Named selections are more frequently grown than the species. M. m.‘Rosea’ has pink blossoms;M. m. ‘Alba’ is 2 ft. high, bears white flowers.

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