Alceas are commonly known as hollyhocks and have long been associated with cottage gardens.
Their long flowering stems that carry open flowers measuring up to 10cm in diameter are appealing to bees and butterflies. Plants are biennial or short-lived perennials. In the first year they put on root and foliage growth and in the second they flower, set seed, then die. Offering a multitude of flower colours, their lofty stems can grow up to 2m, providing blooms from June to September.