Sidalcea flowers

Hardy herbaceous perennials, which form bold clumps of rounded leaves topped by elegant tapering spikes of hollyhock-like flowers.

Family: Malvaceae
Botanical Name: Sidalcea (see-dal-cee-a)
Common Names: Prairie mallow, checker bloom.

Foliage: Deciduous, rounded basal leaves and lobed stem leaves.

Flowers: Erect spikes of large round, saucer-shaped blooms.

Flowering Period: Early to mid summer (June - August).

Soil: Moist but well-drained, fertile soil (chalk, sand or loam). Acid, alkaline or neutral pH.

Conditions: Full sun or partial shade. Plant in a west or south facing aspect, in a sheltered position.

Habit: Bushy, clump forming.

Type: Annuals or herbaceous perennial.

Origin: Western North America and Mexico.

Hardiness: Hardy in the UK.

Planting and Growing Sidalcea

Easy to grow. Thrives in fertile, reasonably moist soil (including chalky soils). Avoid waterlogged conditions in winter. Plants can be short-lived in heavy soils.

Ideal for a sheltered, sunny border.

Excellent as cut flowers.

Taking Care of Sidalcea

Support taller varieties as they grow.

Pruning Sidalcea

Remove central spike once flowers have faded to encourage smaller side blooms.

Cut the stems down to ground level after flowering has finished.

Pests and Diseases

Rust may affect the leaves.

Propagating Sidalcea

Increase from seed or divide established clumps in early autumn or spring, retaining only the healthy outer sections.

Popular Varieties of Sidalcea

A wide selection of hybrids are available.

Sidalcea candida (modest mallow) deeply lobed basal leaves and tallish stems bearing satin-petalled white flowers. Height 18-30in (45-75cm).

Sidalcea 'Elsie Heugh' large purplish pink flowers with fringed petals. For sale at Crocus.

Sidalcea malviflora (main garden species) a vigorous upright variety with erect spikes of large round, dished flowers, in July-September. Height 2-3ft (60-90cm) or more.

Sidalcea Hybrida 'Party Girl' clusters of upright stems bearing rose-pink and white flowers. Height to 3ft (90cm), spread 18in (45cm). For sale at Suttons.

Sidalcea 'Rose Queen' rose-pink flowers.

Sidalcea 'Croftway Red' red flowers.