Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pavonia hastata

Pavonia hastata | Pale Pavonia, Pink Pavonia, Fairy Hibiscus, Spearleaf Swampmallow

Pavonia hastata is native to South America, although there is ongoing debate as to weather or not it is also native to Australia —early collectors are said to have found it there soon after settlement. Older Australian references referred to it as a native plant but more recent references often consider it to be an introduced species. Pavonia hastata has naturalized in the United States —in various locations throughout the southeast (Florida and Georgia).

Some of the flowers may be cleistogamous (they produce seeds without opening). In Spring or Summer, bushes are often covered with seed pods from blooms that never actually opened. When given the right conditions —such as good soil and ample water, Pavonia hastata has the potential to become somewhat weedy, so appropriate thought should be given as to where it is grown. Seeds remain viable for a long time, sprouting under favourable conditions, even after several years.

Reference: Pavonia hastata, —Althaea grandidentata, —Dry banks, Buenos Ayres, and woods of the Banda Oriental, Tweedie. Province of San Luis, (5000 feet,) Dr. Gillies. This species surely belongs to the Labretonia of Schrank, if that genus be really distinct from Pavonia. The leaves, particularly the young ones, have pellucid dots.

   Botanical miscellany. Vol.1-3
   By William Jackson Hooker, 1833