Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Prairie Mallow

Sidalcea

A genus of highly underrated landscape perennials, native to North America.
The tender leaves can be cooked as a pot herb or eaten raw.
Most species prefer full sun on just about any well drained soil.

* photos of unknown internet source


Sidalcea candida
A rhizome-spreading perennial, reaching a maximum size of 4 feet x 20 inches, that is native to the southwestern U.S. ( from Nevada to Utah to Wyoming; south to southern New Mexico ).
The 7-lobed, rounded leaves, up to 8 inches across, are glossy green.
The white flowers, up to 1 inch wide, are borne on dense spikes during early summer, sometimes repeating into early autumn.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on fertile, acidic, well drained soil.

Sidalcea hendersonii ( Henderson's Checkerbloom )
A perennial, reaching up to 5.5 feet, that is native from Juneau, Alaska to coastal southern Oregon.
The deeply 7 lobed, rounded leaves are glossy mid-green.
The bright rosy-pink flowers are borne on long upright panicles.

Sidalcea x hybrida
The flowers, up to 3 inches across, are borne early to mid summer. The erect flower spikes resemble that of the Hollyhocks. The will often rebloom if the first flush of flower spikes are removed as the flowers fade.
The deeply-toothed leaves form a basal clump. The foliage is mid-green.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on fertile, acidic, well drained soil. Prefers climates where summers are not excessively hot and good winter drainage is a must. It can tolerate harsh climates including that of Calgary, Alberta if planted on a protected site.
Cut plants down to 1 foot in height quickly after blooming ends. Propagation is usually done by sowing seed upon ripening which germinates easily. Older clumps can be divided during early spring or early autumn. Clumps are generally more vigorous if divided every 3 years.

'Brilliant'
Reaches a maximum size of 2.5 x 2.5 feet, with deep rose-pink flowers borne on spikes during mid to late summer.

'Croftway Red'
Red flowers.

'Elsie Heugh'
Reaches a maximum size of 5 x 3.5 ( rarely over 4 ) feet, with fringed, pale pink flowers borne on an erect stalk.

'Loveliness'
Reaches up to 2.5 feet, with pale pink flowers

'Mr. Lindburgh'
Reaches a maximum size of 4 x 3.5 feet, with rose-red flowers borne on spikes during mid to late summer.

'Partygirl'
Reaches a maximum size of 3.5 x 3.5 feet, with very abundant, deep rose-red flowers borne on spikes during mid summer to early autumn.

'Rosanna'
Reaches a maximum size of 4 x 3.5 feet, with very abundant, rosy-red flowers borne on spikes during mid summer to early autumn.

'Rose Queen'
Reaches a maximum height of 4 feet, with rose-pink flowers.

'Stark's Variety'
Reaches a maximum size of 5 x 3.5 feet, with rosy-red flowers borne on spikes all summer long.

Sidalcea malviflora ( Checkerbloom )
An erect stemmed, clumping perennial, reaching up to 3.3 x 3 feet, that is native from southwest British Columbia to the Baja Peninsula.
The shallowly-toothed, 7 or 9 lobed leaves are up to 2 inches in length. The foliage turns to yellow during autumn.
The pink to lavender flowers, up to 2 inches across, are borne spring through fall.
Hardy zones 6 to 10 in full sun to partial shade on moist, fertile, well drained soil.

Sidalcea neomexicana ( Salt Spring Checkerbloom )
A perennial, reaching up to 4.5 feet, that is native form eastern Oregon to western Nebraska; south to southern California to New Mexico.

* photo taken by Mr. & Mrs. Robert G. Young @ USDA NRCS. 1992. Western wetland flora

Sidalcea oregana ( Oregon Checkerbloom )
A perennial, reaching up to 6 x 2 ( rarely over 4 ) feet, that is native to the western U.S. ( from Kamloops, British Columbia to Castlegar, B.C. to Idaho; south to northern California to northern Utah ).
The leaves are deeply lobed on the upper stems, more shallowly lobed on the lower stem.
The flowers, borne during summer on upright spikes, are in varying shades of pink.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on moist, well drained soil. It can be propagated either by seed or division.

* photo taken by William & Wilma Follette @ USDA NRCS. 1992. Western wetland flora

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