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Lavatera - Tree Mallow

This genus in Malvaceae has about 25 species, they are bushy and upright growing. Species include annuals and perennials with some shrubby species. Plants have large, simple leaves that are lobed and mallow like-five petaled flowers arising from the leaf axils. All are long blooming. Most species are found in rocky dry soils. Easy from seed and fast growing, young plants produce large basal leaves and as plants flower, stems become hard and semi-woody at the base.

Grow in light, moderately fertile soils that are well draining. Full sun to some shade. The best perennials species are L. oldia and L. thuringiaca.

L. trimestris is a very showy and useful annual for full sun and well draining soils. They act like Monocarpic plants, so to prolong flowering remove old flowers before seed set. Even without cleaning up old flowers, plants are very long blooming and make good cut flowers.