Malva Rosa (Lavatera assurgentiflora) via

A few months ago I was invited down the office of the Metropolitan Water District to meet a number of people involved in their project to help reduce water usage in California. As part of their efforts, they focus on providing plant alternatives to water hungry lawns. Over the next several weeks, I will be highlighting some of their garden alternatives as part of this series. For more information on these plants and other water conservation ideas and programs, vist BeWaterWise.comFollow the MWD on Twitter at BeWaterWiseH2O— Douglas

Lavatera assurgentiflora 2005-06-09.jpg

Lavatera assurgentiflora 2005-06-09” by Curtis Clark – Photography by Curtis Clark. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

Easy-to-grow flowering shrub with abundant beautiful striped blooms. This variety grows to 8 feet tall and others can grow as high as 12 feet tall and wide. An evergreen, the Malva Rosa requires little to moderate water. It is often used for background, hillside and screen planting. —

Lavatera assurgentiflora – now classified as Malva assurgentiflora,[1] the Island MallowMission MallowRoyal Mallow,[2] Island Tree MallowMalva Rosa is a species of flowering plant in the mallow familyIt is endemic to California, where it is native only to the Channel Islands. It can also be found growing as an escapee from cultivation in coastal mainland California. 

Malva assurgentiflora is a sprawling perennial herb or bushy shrub generally exceeding a meter tall and approaching four meters in maximum height. The leaves are up to 15 centimeters long and wide and are divided into 5 to 7 toothed lobes.

The showy flowers have five dark-veined deep pink petals which are somewhat rectangular in shape and 2.5 to 4.5 centimeters long. The disc-shaped fruit is divided into 6 or 8 segments each containing a seed. — Wikipedia

More information on Malva Rosa (Lavatera assurgentiflora) :
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Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas