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Lavatera arborea - L.

Common Name Tree Mallow
Family Malvaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Maritime rocks or waste ground by the sea, to 150 metres[17].
Range Coastal regions of Europe, including Britain, from Franceto the Mediterranean and N. Africa.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Lavatera arborea Tree Mallow


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jeantosti
Lavatera arborea Tree Mallow
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jeantosti

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Lavatera arborea is a BIENNIAL growing to 3 m (9ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a fast rate.
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves
Edible Uses:

Young leaves - raw or cooked. A mild flavour, but the leaves are dry and hairy and not that agreeable in quantity on their own[K]. They can be used as part of a chopped mixed salad[K].

References

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.
Poultice

A poultice made from the leaves is used to treat sprains[4].

References

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

References

Cultivation details

An easily grown plant, succeeding in any ordinary garden soil in sun or partial shade[1, 187]. Prefers a light well-drained moderately fertile soil in full sun[200]. A soil that is too rich encourages foliar growth at the expense of flowering[200]. Tolerates maritime exposure[200]. Plants are very fast-growing and often flower in their first year from seed[200]. They flower so freely in their second year that they normally die afterwards, though they sometimes perennate[200]. When well sited, this species usually self-sows freely[200]. There are some named forms developed for their ornamental value[200].

References

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

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Propagation

Seed - sow late summer in situ[200]. The seed should germinate within 4 weeks.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

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 NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Lavatera cachemirianaLavateraPerennial2.4 7-10 FLMHNDM21 
Lavatera plebeiaLavateraAnnual/Perennial1.5 -  LMHNDM21 
Lavatera speciesTree LavateraShrub2.4 7-10 FLMHNDM20 
Lavatera thuringiacaLavatera, Tree lavateraPerennial1.8 7-10 FLMHNDM30 
Lavatera trimestrisAnnual mallowAnnual0.8 0-0 FLMNDM20 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Jacqui Jones   Mon May 14 2007

I have been lead to believe the leaves from this variety of lavatera were used in Jersey, in olden times, as toilet paper. This informatio was passed on to me by local historians at Hamptonne farmhouse, a Jersey Heritage Site. Do you have any idea where I can source this plant as I would like to grow it near my compost loo!

Ken Fern, Plants for a Future   Thu May 17 2007

Thanks, Jacqui, for your interesting piece of information on this plant. It can be obtained from a number of nurseries in Britain, for full details visit the Plant Finder website at http://www.rhs.org.uk/RHSPlantFinder/plantfinder.asp In addition, it can also be obtained as seed from a number of suppliers. It grows very quickly from seed and this would be my preferred method. Two suppliers are:- Chiltern Seeds http://www.edirectory.co.uk/chilternseeds/ B&T World Seeds http://www.b-and-t-world-seeds.com/ Incidentally, amongst plants that have been used as toilet paper, one of the best I have come across is a New Zealand plant Brachyglottis repanda. One of its common names is Bushman's Toilet Paper and it was widely used by early white settlers in New Zealand. Although not very hardy in ost of Britain, it should succeed with you in the Channel Islands.

PETER JACK   Sun Jul 20 2008

ALTHOUGH LAVATERA ARBOREA SURVIVES IN MILD PARTS OF U.K.,I HAVE NOT YET SEEN AN ATTRACTIVE SPECIMEN; THE PLANTS I HAVE SEEN IN THIS COUNTRY HAVE SMALL FLOWERS AND AN UNTIDY APPEARANCE AND ARE USUALLY SMOTHERED IN APHIDS. THEY PROBABLY NEED A SUNNIER CLIMATE; PLANTS I HAVE SEEN IN THE MED. ARE BEAUTIFUL. I AM TRYING THEM IN MY GARDEN IN CORNWALL IN VERY POOR WELL-DRAINED SOIL. I'LL TELL YOU THE RESULTS.

Peter Jack   Mon Jun 15 2009

I collected seed from wild plants growing by the coast, and now, 11 months later, I have some very attractive plants, with no greenfly and quite large flowers! Perhaps the weather has allowed them to grow so well - they are almost as good as those I have seen in Mediterranean climates. When they have finished flowering, I will prune them hard back and give them a light feed, and see if it is possible to prolong their lives. Perhaps good care will achieve this.

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