Monday, April 13, 2009

Pavonia lasiopetala

Pavonia lasiopetala | Malva de monte, Native Rock Rose, Rose pavonia, Rosemallow, Texas Rock Rose, Wright Pavonia

Previously known as Pavonia wrightii, Malache lasiopetala. Pavonia lasiopetala is a drought tolerant Texas native with shrubby growth up to 1m. It has become a popular garden plant throughout Texas, but its native range is south, central or west Texas, from the Edwards Plateau, the Rio Grande Plains into Mexico, in dry, rocky and calcareous soils.

The Texas Rock Rose’s popularity is no doubt due to its long bloom period and versatility; it grows well in full sun or half shade, a variety of soils, and very dry to regularly irrigated conditions. However, the most striking feature of this plant is the small pink to rose colored flowers, usually 2.5cm in diameter. Opening early in the morning, the blooms usually close by mid-late afternoon, often blooming from March through November. This is a shrub-like perennial that can get woody at the base; to keep this plant in bloom and to prevent legginess it can be trimmed back throughout the growing season. Texas Rock Rose generally lives 3-6 years, but self sows freely and can be easily propagated by seed or softwood cuttings.

Historical Reference: Charles Wright. As we go to press the telegraph announces the death of this eminent botanist, which occurred on his farm at Weathers- field, Connecticut, on the i ith of August, in his seventy-fourth year. He was found dead in his barn. Mr. Wright was one of the earliest of what might be termed the modern race of enthusiastic collectors along our Mexican borders, who have done so much to make the flora of that section known to us. His name must be familiar to nearly all plant-lovers in some one plant or another that has been named for him. As we pen these remarks two pretty things —Pavonia Wrightii and Scutellaria Wrightii—are blooming before us, mementoes of the earnest labors amidst difficulties and danger modern explorers are mostly exempt from, but which beset the early wanderers over our continent. Since "our time," Mr. Wright has been somewhat retired, and the writer never had the pleasure but of one brief introduction to him. But we shall no doubt have a full tribute to his life and eminent services from his co-laborers at Cambridge in due season.

   The Gardener's monthly and horticulturist
   Thomas Meehan
   Published by Charles H. Marot, 1885