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Sidalcea - False Mallow or Prairie Mallow

This genus, which is related to the Hollyhocks, has 20 to 25 species and most are perennials but a few are annuals or short lived perennials. They are native from western and central North America, were they are found growing in grasslands, open woodlands or along streams in mountainous areas. They have Hollyhock-like flowers, with 5 petals, that are produced in dense spike-like racemes. Flower colors include white, pink and purple-pink. A good number of hybrids have been produced, that increases the number of flower colors.

Best grown in moderately fertile soils that are humus rich and moist but well draining. They like neutral to slightly acid soils in full sun to part shade. They hate to be in waterlogged soils and do not over winter well when wet. After flowering, cut back the plants hard to promote a second flush of flowering and to prevent self seeding.

Normally easy to grow - if planted in the right soils. They can sometimes be damaged by rust, slugs and Japanese beetles. After blooming, round donut-like fruits, called a schizocarp are produced; the schizocarp splits into a one-seeded carpel that is called a mericarp. Germination is often slow and spread-out over many months to a year or more. Seeds germinate best when exposed to a long period of cool moist conditions, to produce more uniform germination, poke the seeds with a pin and soak in hot water for 12 hours. Plants sometimes bloom the first year but are best the second and third year. Plants can self seed, but generally not in a weedy way.
Code Name Image Price  
SHP-A9 Sidalcea malviflora Hybrid 'Purpetta'   $2.40
5SID-A9 Sidalcea malviflora 'Starks Hybrids'   $2.25
S62D-A Sidalcea neomexicana Sidalcea neomexicana $2.95