Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Jolly Hollyhocks

Sidalcea (Wild Hollyhock)
 From the Malvaceae family this variety is 'Brilliant'.  The Sidalcea was introduced in 1838 and has been popular in cottage gardens ever since.  This summer-flowering perennial is grown for its hollyhock-like flowers and it loves the sun and well-drained soil.  It can be propagated by division in spring or by collecting the seed, but seed-raised plants don't come true to type.

Hollyhock (Althaea)
Hollyhocks are synonymous with cottage gardens, where they've been grown since the sixteenth century.  It is a short-lived biennial with  tall spikes of cup-shaped flowers borne up the stem.  They are fully hardy and easily raised from seed in spring or late summer.  They come in many colours white, cream, yellow, pink and crimson.

So we have two examples of Hollyhock, wild or cultivated, each beautiful in its own way.  The Sidalcea only grows to a couple of feet, but the Hollyhock can grow up to nine feet.


  1. Oh I love them. I only have one type, and it's Chater's Double Pink. I will post pics later. I REALLY want the single ones, because, to me, they are more 'cottage garden.'

    Sorry about your slugs....the only thing I have learned (from a garden centre employee) is that the thicker the leaves, the more slug resistant it is. Until I was told that, I hadn't noticed that the leaves come in different thicknesses. Maybe you could try some of them, and put a few 'thinner leafed' varieties here and there to keep the slugs to one place?!

  2. I've sown seeds a couple of times but without any joy. Perhaps I'll try again next year! Flighty xx