Russian Hollyhock Overview
Alcea rugosa is an upright perennial species in the mallow family, Malvaceae. Commonly known as Russian hollyhock, hairy hollyhock or just hollyhock, this species is an old garden favourite. Suits planting in cottage style gardens or at the rear of a flowering border. Can provide attractive old world charm and architectural height to plantings and it is also well-placed along walls or fencing. It grows from a basal rosette, producing heart-shaped leaves with a rough texture. Leaves are borne on thick stems, they may be 3, 5 or 7 lobed and deep green in colour. Flowers are pale yellow, saucer-shaped with spreading petals and borne on central flower spikes. Flowers open from the base upwards. Spikes form from late spring to mid-summer. Both flowers and leaves decrease in size with height up the flower spike.