Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Lavatera triloba ssp. triloba

Lavatera triloba ssp. triloba | The Three-lobed Lavatera, Mallow-tree, Malvavisco loco

Lavatera triloba ssp. triloba (formerly known as Althaea triloba, Lavatera flava var. purpurea, and Lavatera rotundata) is a shrubby perennial up to 2m in height. It can be found in open sunny spots in the western Mediterranean region (from Spain and Portugal, Sicily, Sardinia, Tunisia, northern Algeria and Morocco). It is often found growing along streambanks or other sources of water. Purple or yellow flowers are produced spring through summer on upright stems. An added bonus is the subtle pleasing scent of the flowers.

There are 3 subspecies of Lavatera triloba. Ssp. agrigentina has yellow flowers. Ssp. pallescens has purplish or pale pink flowers and Ssp. triloba, has purple or yellow flowers.

Historical Reference: LAVATERA triloba.
Purple Rock Lavatera: A hardy, half-shrubby, herbaceous plant, delighting in exposed dry situations. It is well adapted for ornamenting rough masses of artificial rock-work. A native of Spain, where it is found in the maritime provinces, growing in some abundance upon cliffs and precipices. Flowers from June to September.

   ‪The Botanical Register:‬ Volume 12
   ‪Sydenham Edwards, John Bellenden Ker, John Lindley
   Printed for James Ridgway by S. Gosnell, 1826‬

Description —This species, which is somewhat shrubby at the base of the stem, grows about three feet high, and flowers abundantly, though the flowers are much smaller than those of the preceding species (Lavatera thuringiaca). It may be planted in any common garden soil, but it requires a little protection during winter. It is a native of Spain, whence it was introduced before 1759- The flowers, which appear in June, July, and August, have a strong smell of musk.

   ‪The ladies' flower-garden of ornamental perennials, Volume 1
   ‪Loudon (Jane)
   Published 1843‬