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Hi all, 

I am looking to plant some Lavatera or tree mallow, but when im looking online I can only see annual seed or dwarf bushes. 

Does anyone know where I could find either a small plant or some seeds of the perennial types


I think Dave what you are looking for is Hibiscus which is a tender perennial with larger more exotic flowers than the tree mallow-all from the same family

So can go outside but is not frost hardy-does need warmth to flower

Plants should be readily available around March/ April onwards


Thanks Geoff, but its definitely not Hibiscus around me there are lavatera by the bucket load in peoples gardens, some have been there for several years now and are quite big now. I might have to bite the bullet and ask if I can take a cutting from one if I cant find a young plant or seed. I did get some seeds from a tree in Portugal last year but can't remember where I put them. 


hang on, I just saw a post on google that says Hibiscus rose of sharon, which is what I saw, lavatera rose of sharon. The hibiscus flower looks quite different to the ones near me. It is around 8ft tall and looks like this



and this: Lavatera brendon springs




This of those daft things were one plant  is called by different names-your pictures I would call lavatera  or tree mallow not hibiscus-confusion  reigns


Dave, they're easy from cuttings, (even for me). If you've seen one you like go and ask for a piece. Check to see what it looks like in winter, mine was a sorry drab mess, I got rid of it

L. arborea will come from seed but all those larger flowered, different colours, hybrids/cultivars won't be as the parent



Gary Hobson

I have both Hibiscus and perennial Lavatera. They are quite different plants.

The shrubby perennial Lavateras I have is Lavatera Olbia. More details:

T&M used to offer this as seed. I grew mine from their seed many years ago, and still have the plants.

The plant went out of fashion, and is not listed in their current seed catalogue. But I would have thought that other seed suppliers would have that, or more modern and improved varieties.


Even more to choose from. Definitely get a cutting from one you like the look of. Only way to be sure.

Gary Hobson

These plants self seed quite readily.

So if someone has has them in their garden, it's likely that they will have some small plants, which are normally considered 'weeds' and get pulled up and thrown out.

They have tap roots (like very thin carrots) so care is required when transplanting. But they are not difficult to transplant.


They are weeds, short term fillers in at best.


From the link that nutcutlet posted fron the RHS

"Lavatera can be annuals, biennials, perennials or subshrubs, with long-stalked, palmately lobed leaves and large, funnel-shaped flowers in summer"

says it all really

And this is what they say about hibiscus

"Hibiscus can be deciduous or evergreen shrubs, trees, annuals or perennials, with simple or palmately lobed leaves and large, funnel-shaped flowers over a long flowering season"

Says it all really again


I bought a lavatera "Barnsley" some years ago. It grew into a large rather floppy shrub, covered in pale pink flowers. I pruned it to a few inches each year and it grew back bigger each time. Then I notices new plants growing around it. After about 5 years the original died and I let three of the babies grow up. They have much darker pink flowers, which I prefer and they are about 4' tall, the first one was over 5'. I wouldn't call them weeds!



I agree about asking to take cuttings from a shrub with the flower colour that you want.

Thay are easy plants to grow, but inclined to windrock damage, being quite shallow rooted, so I do a bit of a tidy up in the autumn, then the proper cut back early in spring. That way I dont end up with a monster that needs support!

Just to confuse the issue, I also grow the annual mallow seeds as well. J.

I have a Lavatera 'Barnsley Baby' in my garden and the flowers were beautiful when it last bloomed. I bought it for about £2.00 from Morrisons last summer. It soon grew! 

 My Lavatera, Barnsley has white flowers with red centre's, it's a semi evergreen shrub. Flowers June to September not had a problem yet with it self seeding.

My eye sight mustn't be as good as it was,  it possibly did go a pale pink at the end of the summer but the change went unnoticed, I checked the picture which came with the plant from greenline and it looks white, must have been taken at the beginning of the summer and not the end