Tree-mallow is a striking, coastal biennial growing up to 3m tall, with a spike of large, deep pink flowers with darker pink veins and ivy shaped, velvety leaves. UK native.
The flowers, which bloom throughout June to September, are visited by bees as they offer both nectar and pollen.
Sow late summer in situ, but can be planted at any time of year. The seed should germinate within 4 weeks.
An easily grown plant, succeeding in any ordinary garden soil in sun or partial shade. Prefers a light well-drained moderately fertile soil in full sun. A soil that is too rich encourages foliar growth at the expense of flowering. Tolerates maritime exposure.
Plants are very fast-growing and often flower in their first year from seed. They flower so freely in their second year that they normally die afterwards, though they sometimes perennate. When well sited, this species usually self-sows freely.
Outside of its natural range it can be an invasive and environmentally damaging plant, so should not be planted in wild coastal sites without first seeking advice from local experts.
Young leaves - raw or cooked. A mild flavour, but the leaves are dry and hairy and not that agreeable in quantity on their own. They can be used as part of a chopped mixed salad.