01 February 2010

Lavatera

Lavatera is in all the seed catalogs.

Fedco Seeds' catalog describes L. trimestris thusly, " Every stalk is covered with single funnel-shaped blossoms....Cut when flowers are unfurling or have just begun to bloom. Vase life is one week...Botanical name honors the 16th century Swiss naturalist brothers Lavater, and the three-month bloom time in warmer climes. (150 seeds costs 90-cents).

Lavatera is a mallow or Malvaceae. A website dedicated to this plant family, www.malvaceae.info, introduces it with these comments, "Malvaceae is known as the mallow family in English; as les Malvacées in French; as Malvengewächse in German; as Le Malvacee in Italian; as Kaasjeskruidfamilie in Dutch; as Malvaväxter in Swedish; as Katost-familien in Danish, as Kattostfamilien in Norwegian; as Malvakasvit in Finnish, as kassinaerilised in Estonian; as Mályvafélék in Hungarian; and as Slazowate in Polish. Tiliaceae is known as the lime family in England, as les Tiliacées in French; and Lindengewächse in German; as lehmuskasvit in Finnish; as pärnalised in Estonian; and as Hársfafélék in Hungarian.. Bombacaceae is known as Wollbaumgewächse in German."

Ivy Garth Seeds offers several varieties
L cashmeriana - clear pink
L thuringiaca - pink
L trimestris Beauty Mix - pink to white shades
L trimestris Mont Blanc - white
L trimestris Novella - veined pink 3-inch flowers
L trimestris Silver Cup Beauty Pink - silver pink with rose veins
L trimestris Twins Cool White
L trimestris Twins Hot Pink - satin pink, blooms all summer, fast crop

The Lavatera page of the Malvaceae site is here
Then, here is a link to photos of Mont Blanc, Novella, Silver Cup, Pink Beauty, etc.

Of course, Lavatera and all the Mallows are favorites of anyone who wants to bring hummingbirds and butterflies into their garden. They are easy to grow from seed and provide a plentiful supply of nectar. Plus, some butterflies lay their eggs on the plants because the caterpillars are adapted to eating the leaves.

Do you grow any of these flowers?

2 comments:

Gardeness said...

I have a Tree Mallow that became quite a monster of a plant. I pulled it up and repotted sections in a pot. Lovely plant, but it reseeds readily.

Molly Day said...

Oh, I hope mine re-seed like crazy.
The ones I planted last year brought so many skippers!