Lavatera maritima (l.bicolor)

Lavatera maritima (l.bicolor)
Lavatera maritima (l.bicolor) 
tree mallow
SIZE/TYPE mid-sized perennial
 tall perennial
LEAVES semi-deciduous broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES +multicoloured:blue-green and light green
COLOUR OF FLOWERS combined:white and purple red
BLOOMING TIME August - October
LOCATION full sun
USDA zone (lowest) 6   (down to -23°C)
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
Summer blooms
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Lavatera is a varied genus of about 25 species of annuals, biennials, perennials, or even shrubs with semi-evergreen or evergreen foliage. Its flowers resemble perennial mallow unlike which lavatera is not native in Central Europe. Its natural habitats are warmer parts of West Europe, the Mediterranean, Central Asia and East Siberia, Australia, and California.

Tree mallow is an evergreen subshrub or semi-evergreen woody perennial which looks like a Rose-of-Sharon shrub when in flower. No wonder, they are from the same family. Flowers of tree mallow are 5-petalled, 6-8 cm across, white with rich magenta violet centres, and appear from midsummer until early to mid autumn. The distinct flower colour contrast also gave birth to another Latin name lavatera bicolor which is accepted as a synonym. Pelargonium-like leaves are shallowly lobed to almost rounded or maple-like palmate. In our climate they are semi-evergreen to deciduous.

The plant is cultivated as a woody perennial – prune it hard in early spring to 10-20 cm above ground. It grows fast and makes 1-1.5m long, upright stems bearing profusion of flowers till the last warm and sunny days of early autumn. The older the plant the bushier it gets. It comes from the Mediterranean which makes it a great choice for a maritime style landscape – use it along with cratostigma, lavandula, rosmarinus, perovskia, caryopteris, hypericum, buddleja, salvia, gaura and other drought loving perennials. It also makes sense to incorporate it into macchia type landscape.

Tree mallow is easy to grow if you choose the right spot and soil. Grow it only in free-draining, light, moderately fertile soil. It does not take flooding or excess watering – leaves will turn yellow and fall off, and roots will be prone to several fungi diseases. It needs full sun and plenty of warmth to bloom profusely. It may not be reliable in exposed and mountainous locations of USDA zone 6. Provide some winter protection in severe winters (mulch, fir branches). Planted well it is hardy and reliable to about -24°C (USDA zone 6).

Last update 16-10-2019

Malva moscata f.
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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