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Sphaeralcea ambigua (photo courtesy of Steven A. Gunther)
Sphaeralcea ambigua (photo courtesy of Steven A. Gunther)

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Zone
Zones 3A, 3B, 7-24
Full Sun
Full
Minimal Water
Minimal

Sphaeralcea ambigua

Apricot Mallow
Malvaceae
Perennials, Flowers

SPHAERALCEA

Grown for their attractive downy leaves and bright flowers shaped like miniature hollyhocks (Alcea rosea), these upright to trailing plants have a persistent woody base with softer stems above. Colorful accent plants for hot, dry locations.

Need well-drained soil. Any more than a little water causes weedy growth and rust. Cut old stems almost to the ground before spring growth begins.

Sphaeralcea ambigua

Native to Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, and Mexico. Grows to 3–4 ft. tall and 2–3 ft. wide, with many stems covered in white or yellowish down. Broad, rounded gray-green leaves are crinkled and slightly lobed. Each stem bears many inch-wide flowers; usual color is glowing pink or orange, but white-flowered forms are occasionally available.

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