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Velvet Tree-mallow Malva arborea

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Althaea arborea
  • Lavatera arborea
  • Malva dendromorpha
Phonetic Spelling
MAL-vuh ar-bor-EE-ah
Description

Tree mallow can be grown as a biennial, an annual, or if provided proper protection as a perennial.  It is typically grown in warmer climates, as it is easily damaged by frost.  It grows best in sandy soil and a salty atmosphere.  It excretes excess salt through glands on the leaves, so planting in a coastal location will not be a detriment to the plant.  

When grown fro seed, the tree can bloom in its first year.  The seeds remain viable for years.  

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  The stems crack easily.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Monc Blanc'
  • 'Silver Cup'
  • 'Variegata'
'Monc Blanc', 'Silver Cup', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#annual#biennial#perennial#cut flowers
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Monc Blanc'
  • 'Silver Cup'
  • 'Variegata'
'Monc Blanc', 'Silver Cup', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#annual#biennial#perennial#cut flowers
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Malva
    Species:
    arborea
    Family:
    Malvaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Biennial
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North Western Europe to Mediterranean
    Wildlife Value:
    The blooms attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds and various insect pollinators. Serves as a food source for a variety of butterflies and moths. Bees are attracted to both the nectar and pollen.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    The seeds may be edible.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herb
    Perennial
    Shrub
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    The seeds are contained in a round, flat capsule and remain viable for years.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The 1-2" flowers are borne in clusters of two or more in the leaf axils. The attractive flowers have dark veins running into a dark center. They bloom in late winter through early summer.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Velvety
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Palmatifid
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Each leaf may have between 5 and 9 lobes. They range in size from 3 to 7 ", spirally arranged around the stem.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Flowering Tree
    Mass Planting
    Small Tree
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds