Malvaceae Info
Literature Index


The following consists of extracts from the 2nd (1897) edition of A. D. Webster's Hardy Ornamental Flowering Trees and Shrubs of those materials referring to plants belonging to Malvaceae sensu APG. Note that Fremontia californica is now classified as Fremontodendron californicum, Plagianthus lyallii as Hoheria lyallii, Plagianthus lampenii as Asterotrichion discolor and Plagianthus pulchellus as Gynatrix pulchella.


FREMONTIA CALIFORNICA.—California, 1851. A handsome and deciduous Californian shrub, but scarcely hardy enough for the open air without protection. In Southern England and Ireland, however, it does well, and all the better if planted within the influence of the sea. The large yellow flowers are often about 2 inches across, and produced singly along the branches, while the leaves are large, lobed, and of an enticing shade of green. Planted against a wall, in good dampish loam, it succeeds well.


HIBISCUS SYRIACUS (syn Althaea frutex).—Syrian Mallow. Syria, 1596. An old occupant of our gardens, and one that cannot be too freely cultivated. When favourably situated, it often reaches 6 feet in height, with three-lobed, neatly-toothed leaves, and with large, showy blossoms that are borne towards the end of summer. The typical species has purplish flowers, with a crimson spot at the base of each petal, but others, varying in colour from snow-white to purple and blue, are common in cultivation. H. syriacus coelestis bears bright blue flowers, while H. syriacus variegatus has beautifully variegated foliage. Of the double-flowered forms, there are several beautiful and worthy plants, the following list containing some of the best varieties of this popular shrub:—

H. syriacus albo-pleno.
"       amaranthus.
"       amplissima.
"       ardens.
"       caerulea plena.
"       carnea plena.
"       De la Veuve.
"       elegantissimum.
"       fastuosa.
"       Lady Stanley.
"       Leopoldii.
"       lilacina plena.
"       paeoniaeflora.
"       puniceus plenus.
"       rosea plena.
"       spectabilis plena.
"       violacea.


LAVATERA ARBOREA.—Tree Mallow. Coasts of Europe, (Britain). A stout-growing shrub reaching in favourable situations a height of fully 6 feet, with broadly orbicular leaves placed on long stalks. The flowers are plentiful and showy, of a pale purplish-red colour, and collected into clusters. It is a seaside shrub succeeding best in sheltered maritime recesses, and when in full flower is one of the most ornamental of our native plants. There is also a beautiful variegated garden form, L. a. variegata.


PLAGIANTHUS LYALLI, a native of New Zealand (1871), and a member of the Mallow family, is a free-flowering and beautiful shrub, but one that cannot be recommended for general planting in this country. At Kew it does well and flowers freely on an east wall. The flowers are snow-white, with golden-yellow anthers, and produced on the ends of the last season's branchlets during June and July. The flower-stalks, being fully 2 inches long, give to the flowers a very graceful appearance. In this country the leaves are frequently retained till spring.

P. LAMPENI.—Van Dieman's Land, 1833. This is about equally hardy with the former, and produces a great abundance of sweetly-scented flowers.

P. PULCHELLUS (syn Sida pulchella).—Australia and Tasmania. Another half-hardy species, which bears, even in a young state, an abundance of rather small, whitish flowers.


TILIA VULGARIS (syns T. europea and T. intermedia).—Lime, or Linden Tree. Europe, Caucasus, and naturalised in Britain. Probably none of the Limes would be included in a list of ornamental-flowering trees and shrubs, still that they are of great interest and beauty even in that state cannot be denied. The common species as well as its numerous varieties have sweetly scented, yellowish-white flowers in terminal cymes, and are, though individually small, highly ornamental when fully developed. Other species of great interest when in flower are T. alba (syn T. argentea), Silver Lime; T. petiolaris, a curious and beautiful species; and T. euchlora.

The various species and varieties of Lime succeed well in almost any class of soil, but rich loam on sand is considered the most suitable for their perfect development.

Malvaceae Info
Literature Index

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