Sea mallow

Lavatera maritima


Sea mallow is native to the coastal areas and Mediterranean climate zones of southern France, that develops into a large mounding shrub, 6-10 ft. high, 8-12 ft. wide. Foliage is comprised of palmately lobed pale gray-green leaves, growing 2-3 in. across. Showy 2-3 in. dia. lavender-white flowers have rose-purple centers and purple veins. Flowers on this species face outward, are more visible and occur over a very long flowering season, from early spring into late fall in coastal regions.

Similar to other shrub-type mallows, this species is fast growing, has flexible branches and stems and is adaptable to many landscape and garden conditions found in the Inland Empire. It is best adapted to full sun or light shade and with regular supplemental water during summer. It has become a popular flowering shrub that is grown as a flowering accent plant in background areas, for screening and for foliage contrast. It is easy to shape and size with simple pruning. It is sometimes available in nurseries as a patio tree in courtyard spaces.

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Evergreen, Drought deciduous
Habit: Mounding
Growth Rate: Fast
Foliage Color: Pale green, Gray green
Flower Color: Lavender, Magenta
Flower Season: Summer, Spring, Fall
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Sand
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Morning sun, Heat, Drought, Coastal salt air, All day sun
Function: Slopes, Screening, Residential spaces, Parks and open space, Flowering accent plant, Espalier, Banks, Background plant
Height: 6 ft. – 10 ft.
Width: 8 ft. – 12 ft.