Offering colorful single flowers throughout the summer, these easy-to-grow plants resemble their cousins, the hollyhocks (Alcea). Use them in the back of the border, in combination with other annuals and perennials.
L. thuringiaca. Evergreen shrub. Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8. Native to central and southeastern Europe. Flowers are purplish pink, 3 in. across, nearly everblooming (except in colder-winter zones). 'Barnsley' has lighter pink flowers with deep pink centers. 'Red Rum' grows about 45 ft. tall and 34 ft. wide, with deep pink flowers held on burgundy stems.
L. trimestris. ANNUAL MALLOW. Annual. Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11. Mediterranean native reaches 36 ft. tall and wide from spring-sown seed. Satiny flowers to 4 in. wide. Species is seldom seen in gardens; more commonly grown are named selections with blossoms in white, pink, or rosy carmine. Bloom extends from midsummer until 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- to 3-ft.) selections include white 'Mont Blanc', rose-pink 'Mont Rose', and bright pink 'Silver Cup'. 'Ruby Regis', to 2 ft. high and wide, has 3-in. flowers of deep rose veined in a deeper shade. 'Loveliness' has similar blossoms but grows 34 ft. tall and wide.