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. They are easy to grow from seed and usually bloom the first year. Need good drainage, average soil. Use in perennial borders or for a quick tall edging. Not long lived.
- To 4 feet tall, 2 feet wide; upper leaves deeply divided.
- Saucer-shaped, pink flowers to 2 inches wide appear from late spring to fall.
- Subject to root rot in hot, wet weather.
- The most widely available variety is Malva a.
- fastigiata; it is narrower than the species.
- Resists deer.
- Erect, branching plant to 3 feet tall, 2 feet wide.
- Finely cut leaves; pink or white flowers to 1 inches wide or somewhat wider, summer to fall.
- Entire plant emits a mildly musky odor if brushed against or bruised.
- Named selections are more frequently grown than the species.
- Rosea has pink blossoms; 'Alba' is shorter than the species (to 2 feet tall) and bears white flowers.
- Perennial or biennial.
- Easy-to-grow plant with erect, bushy growth to 24 feet tall, 2 feet wide.
- Flowers are 2 inches across and appear throughout summer, often right up until frost.
- Reseeds; often seen in older gardens of the Lower South.
- Common selection 'Zebrina' (often sold as Malva zebrina) has blossoms in pale lavender-pink with pronounced deep purple veining.
- Marina bears light blue blossoms; 'Mauritiana' has deep lavender-pink, often semidouble flowers with dark purple veining.
- Resists deer.