The Lavatera Pages :
Other Lavateras

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§ Lavatera abyssinica Hutch and E.A. Deane is a species from the Ethiopian highlands. No other details are known.

§ Lavatera vidali Pau is a rare and endangered species from the western Rif mountains of northern Morocco. It is an annual, flowering in May and June. The stem is subglabrous, with long more or less deflexed simple or bifurcate hairs. The foliage is long-petiolate. The involucel of the flowers is composed of 3 broadly ovate bracteoles united for about half their length. The fruit is a schizocarp composed of circa 25 mericarps. These are glabrous, with convex and transversely ridged dorsal faces and obtuse margins.1

Incertae sedis

§ Lavatera brachyfolia Walp. is a species from the Canary Islands. It is most likely a synonym for either Lavatera acerifolia Cavanilles or Lavatera phoenicea Vent.. Saviniona brachyfolia Walp. and Saviniona brachypoda P. Webb & Berthelot are synonyms of Lavatera brachyfolia Walp., which is support for the former identification. (The genus Saviniona was proposed for L. acerifolia and the Californian species.)

§ A reference to Lavatera maculata has been found in a seed list. This is said to have white flowers.

§ Other names, of uncertain status are Lavatera albida Boj., Lavatera foucauldii Maire and Sennen, Lavatera graetica, Lavatera lanceolata Willd., Lavatera ligusticum Shuttlew., Lavatera longifolia Boiss., Lavatera lusitanica L., Lavatera ramosissima Opiz., Lavatera scabra Hort., Lavatera septemloba Hoffmgg. Lavatera subovata DC, Lavatera tripartita DC. and Olbia obtusa Medic.

§ Of these Lavatera albida, Lavatera foucauldii and Lavatera subovata come from North Africa, and Lavatera longifolia from Spain.

Lavatera undulata Miller is a synonym of Lavatera lusitanica L.

Lavatera lusitanica auct. non L. is a synonym of Lavatera septemloba Hoffmgg.

Lavatera scabra hort. ex Turcz., might, like Anthema scabra be a synonym of Lavatera cretica.

Lavatera lanceolata Willd. might be a form of Lavatera punctata; Lavatera subovata DC might be a form of Lavatera triloba.

Incertae sedis (cultivars)

There has been considerable development of cultivars of the × clementii group over recent years. I suspect that the cultivar 'Linda' belongs to this group, but have no sources which confirm this.

A cultivar 'Alba' is available. This could be a synonym for any of several white-flowered varieties (perhaps Lavatera trimestris 'Splendens Alba'), or may be a valid cultivar name.

'Sense' and 'Sensibility' are perennial tree mallows available in America. Their hardiness (USDA zones 4-8) suggests that they belong to the × clementii group. 'Sensibility' has pale pink and 'Sense' medium pink flowers. The former grows to 1.5m, the latter to 1m.

'Beatrice White' is a variety available in Italy. It has broad rose-pink petals aging to white with a dark rose-pink eye. It grows to 3 to 3½ feet in height.

'Frederique' is a white-flowered cultivar now available in Europe, including the British Isles.

'Miranda' has delicate pale lilac flowers with a darker eye and veins.

'Moody Blue' is a cultivar available in the United Kingdom.

'Pink Mountain' is sold as a seed-strain. The raiser speculates that it is a spontaneous cross between Lavatera arborea and a large-flowered pink cultivar. From photographs I suspect that it belongs to section Olbia.

'Tausendschön' is a cultivar available in Germany.

'Valentina' is a variety available in Italy with narrow, sliver-white petals, with a pink tinge towards the base of the petals. It grows to 3 to 4 feet high.

'Bold Stripes', 'Pale Face' and 'Pastel Stripes' are cultivars available in California. They may be cultivars of Lavatera assurgentiflora, or additional hybrids of this species with Lavatera venosa. 'Pale Face' is a partly deciduous cultivar bearing large, soft-white or blush-pink blossoms that are slightly flatter and more open than the typical Lavatera flower, growing 3-4 ft tall.

Other named cultivars, for which I don't have any information, are 'Pretty Flamingo', 'Ophelia', 'Shadyvale Star' and 'Snowcap'.

References to a white herbaceous form of Lavatera can be found on the WWW. Correspondence with Cotswold Garden Flowers has led to the identification of this as Lavatera thuringiaca 'Ice Cool'.


Some species of plants outside the genus Lavatera have on occasion been given names within that genus. Such names which I am aware of are listed below. (Lavatera lanata is probably a transcription error.)

Lavatera americana Lavatera is a synonym of Abutilon abutiloides (Jacq.) Garcke.
Lavatera schumanni Ulbr. is a synonym of Althaea wolffii Ulbr.; this is a species from Asia Minor and may represent a species of Alcea.
Lavatera biflora E. Mey and Lavatera julii Burch are synonyms of Anisodontea julii (Harv.) D.M. Bates.
Lavatera hirsuta Mill. is a synonym of Anisodontea scabrosa (L.) D.M. Bates.
Lavatera prostrata E. Mey is a synonym of Anisodontea julii (Burch. ex DC.) Bates ssp. prostrata (E.Mey. ex Turcz.) Bates, also known as Sphaeralcea prostrata Harv., and Sphaeroma prostrata Baker f.Lavatera lanata Steud. is a synonym of Lavandula lanata Boiss.

Lavatera 'Primley Blue' is occasionally seen as an error for Malva sylvestris 'Primley Blue'.
Lavatera 'Parkalaé' seems to be an error for "Malva" 'Park Allee'.


There are two groups of cultivars of hybrid origin; the shrubby mallows derived from Lavatera olbia and Lavatera thuringiaca, and perhaps also from other species such as Lavatera oblongifolia and Lavatera byronifolia, and the hybrids between the Californian species Lavatera venosa and Lavatera assurgentiflora, and perhaps also Lavatera occidentalis.

Lavatera arborea is reported to hybridise with Lavatera plebeia, and Lavatera triloba with Lavatera olbia.

Lavatera mauritanica hybridises with Malva sylvestris (cvs. 'Braveheart' and 'Zebrina'), giving a hybrid with favours Malva sylvestris except for the pattern of petal coloring, which follows that of L. mauritanica.

Lavatera cretica hybridises with Malva sylvestris. I am informed that it can also be crossed with Malva nicaeensis.

There is a report of a hybrid between Lavatera 'Bicolor' and Lavatera trimestris being raised in California.


  1. Valdés, B, et al, ed., Checklist of Vascular Plants of N Morocco, with Identification Keys (2002)


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