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Alcea rosea - L.
                 
Common Name Hollyhock
Family Malvaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known in a truly wild situation.
Range The original habitat is obscure, it is probably of hybrid origin. A garden escape in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Summary
Bloom Color: Lavender, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Salmon, White, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Late summer, Late fall, Mid summer, Mid fall. Form: Upright or erect.

Alcea rosea Hollyhock


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Alcea rosea Hollyhock
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:K!roman
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Alcea rosea is a PERENNIAL growing to 2.4 m (7ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Synonyms
Althaea rosea.
Habitats
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Oil;  Root;  Stem.
Edible Uses: Oil;  Tea.

Young leaves - raw or cooked[2, 55, 177]. A mild flavour, but the texture leaves something to be desired[K]. They have been used as a pot-herb, though they are not particularly palatable[4]. They can also be chopped up finely and added to salads[K]. Inner portion of young stems - raw[101]. Flower petals and flower buds - raw. Added to salads[183]. A nutritious starch is obtained from the root[183]. A refreshing tea is made from the flower petals[183].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiinflammatory;  Astringent;  Demulcent;  Diuretic;  Emollient;  Febrifuge.

The flowers are demulcent, diuretic and emollient[4, 21]. They are useful in the treatment of chest complaints[4], and a decoction is used to improve blood circulation, for the treatment of constipation, dysmenorrhoea, haemorrhage etc[218]. The flowers are harvested when they are open and are dried for later use[238]. The shoots are used to ease a difficult labour[218]. The root is astringent and demulcent[240]. It is crushed and applied as a poultice to ulcers[218]. Internally, it is used in the treatment of dysentery[240]. The roots and the flowers are used in Tibetan medicine, where they are said to have a sweet, acrid taste and a neutral potency[241]. They are used in the treatment of inflammations of the kidneys/womb, vaginal/seminal discharge, and the roots on their own are used to treat loss of appetite[241]. The seed is demulcent, diuretic and febrifuge[240].
Other Uses
Compost;  Dye;  Litmus;  Oil;  Paper.

A fibre obtained from the stems is used in papermaking[189]. The fibres are about 1.9mm long. The stems are harvested in late summer, the leaves are removed and the stems are steamed until the fibres can be removed. The fibres are cooked with lye for 2 hours and then ball milled for 3 hours or pounded with mallets. The paper is light tan in colour[189]. The flowers are an alternative ingredient of 'Quick Return' herbal compost activator[32]. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost[K]. The seed contains 12% of a drying oil[114, 240]. The red anthocyanin constituent of the flowers is used as a litmus[114]. A brown dye is obtained from the petals[168].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Specimen. Succeeds in most soils[1]. Poor soils should be enriched with organic matter[1, 111]. Prefers a heavy rich soil and a sheltered sunny position[200]. Plants are hardy to about -15°c[200]. A very ornamental plant, it is usually grown as a biennial due to its susceptibility to the fungal disease 'rust'[1, 200]. There are many named varieties[238]. Young plants, and also the young growth in spring, are very attractive to slugs[K]. Special Features:Attracts birds, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Propagation
Seed - sow April/May or August/September in pots or in situ[200, 238]. Easily grown from seed, which usually germinates in about 2 - 3 weeks at 20°c[133, 268]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division after flowering. Only use rust-free specimens. Root cuttings in December. Basal cuttings at almost any time of year.
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Malva alceaVervain mallow, Hollyhock Mallow51
Sidalcea acuta 11
Sidalcea malvifloraCheckerbloom, Dwarf checkerbloom, California checkerbloom, Siskiyou checkerbloom30
Sidalcea neomexicanaNew Mexico Prairie Mallow, Salt spring checkerbloom, Thurber's checkerbloom11
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Expert comment
 
Author
L.
Botanical References
100200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Lawler Barnes Sat Jul 22 2006

Nature Abhors a Garden Gardening in New Mexico, focus on why people grow plants

Elizabeth H.
jumpinjivinjoe Sat Aug 23 2008
The flowers are quite delicious. A good addition to any fresh food.
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Subject : Alcea rosea  

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