Lavatera (Malva) assurgentiflora

Island Tree mallow


Plant Type: Shrub
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Adaptable
Water: Naturalize, Occasional, Regular
Height X Width: 7' X 6'
Santa Clara County Local: No
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Description

As the common name indicates, Lavatera assurgentiflora, is native to several of the Channel Islands of California. Like many Channel Island natives, island mallow does quite well in coastal settings in central and southern California and northern Mexico. It has even naturalized in several locations. Island mallow naturally grows rapidly as an open, somewhat sprawling shrub to about 7 feet high and wide. It responds well to pruning, however, and can be used as a small tree (though support may be needed to keep it upright). The large leaves are apple green and almost maple-like in appearance. They lend the island mallow a lush, tropical appearance uncommon in California natives. The large magenta flowers appear in abundance in the spring and display wonderfully against the leaves and gray bark. Island mallow thrives in full sun with fairly well-draining soil. In inland settings it can suffer in the heat of the summer and does best with occasional water. As with many mallows, island mallow is a favorite of herbivores, so choose the planting site accordingly.

Characteristics

Deer Resistant: No
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen