Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pavonia praemorsa

Pavonia praemorsa | Yellow Mallow, Yellow Pavonia

Pavonia praemorsa is an attractive, small to medium sized upright growing shrub to 2m. The flower buds initially open to reveal red to apricot colored petals that rapidly fade to yellow after opening (photo at left shows flowers from the same plant). Flowering can occur year round with peak bloom in spring and fall. Planted in full sun, Pavonia praemorsa tolerates a wide variety of soils as long as it is not soggy. In its natural setting, this South African native can be found on the margin of dry coastal or inland bush, growing in well drained soils. Pavonia praemorsa can be grown to form a thick screen in sunny locations, or pruned to maintain a smaller shrub, but it tends to get spindly when grown in shade. It can withstand winter temperatures into the mid-20's. Pavonia praemorsa is a nectar source butterflies and a great addition to the home garden. The genus was named in honor of  José Antonio Pavón Jiménez (1754–1840), a Spanish botanist.

Historical Reference: Pavonia. —A José Pavón, uno de nuestros mejores botánicos, y uno de los autores de la obra inmortal de la Flora del Perú y Chile. Translation:  Pavonia, after José Pavón, one of our best botanists, and one of the authors of the immortal work 'Flora of Peru and Chile'.

   Historia bibliográfica de la medicina española
   By Antonio Hernández Morejón
   Published by Impr. de la viuda de Jordan e hijos, 1843