Alcea rugosa

26 Aug

Alcea rugosa (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Alcea rugosa (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period:

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 2m

Eventual Spread: 60cm

Hardiness: 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Malvaceae

Alcea rugosa is an evergreen biennial/ short lived perennial with an upright habit. Its mid green leaves are palmate with dentate margins and form a basal rosette for its first year of growth. Its yellow flowers are up to 10cm across and appear on erect stems.

Alcea rugosa Flower (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Alcea rugosa Flower (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Alcea rugosa, commonly known as the  Yellow Fig-Leaved Hollyhock or Russian Hollyhock, is native to the Ukraine and Southern Russia. This species of Alcea is more resistant to rust than most.

The etymological root of the binomial name Alcea is from the Greek and is the name given to this plant by Dioscorides. Rugosa is derived from the Latin meaning ‘full of wrinkles’.

The landscape architect may find Alcea rugosa useful as large upright free flowering perennial and looks good when planted en mass. This plant is tolerant of urban pollution.

Ecologically, Alcea rugosa flowers are attractive to nectar loving insects and birds.

Alcea rugosa Leaf (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Alcea rugosa Leaf (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Alcea rugosa prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It dislikes wet soils during the winter months.

Alcea rugosa requires little maintenance. The removal of flower spikes will encourage this plant to behave as a perennial. If flower spikes are left this plant will readily self seed. Its flower spikes may be cut to ground level in winter to keep a tidy appearance.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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