Grown for their attractive downyleaves and bright flowers shapedlike miniature hollyhocks (Alcearosea), these upright to trailingplants have a persistent woodybase with softer stems above.Colorful accent plants for hot,dry locations.
Need well-drained soil. Any morethan a little water causes weedygrowth and rust. Cut old stemsalmost to ground before springgrowth begins.
Native toUtah, Arizona, Nevada, California,and Mexico. Grows to 3–4 ft.tall, 2–3 ft. wide, with manystems covered in white or yellowishdown. Broad, roundedgray-green leaves are crinkledand slightly lobed. Each stembears many inch-wide flowers;usual color is glowing pink ororange, but white-flowered formsare occasionally available.Sphaeralcea munroana
Native to intermountainWest and Rocky Mountainfoothills. Grows to 3 ft. highand 1 1/2–2 ft. wide, with uprightstems and rounded, slightlylobed gray-green leaves. Bearsmany wands of inch-widesalmon to reddish orange flowersfrom midsummer to earlyfall. Plants sold in Californiaunder this name may be theArgentine native S. philippiana,which grows to 1 1/2 ft. high and4–5 ft. wide and has leavesthat are more deeply cut thanthose of S. munroana.
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