Kenya Natural History Guide >>> Plants >>> Malvaceae >>> Alcea rosea

Common Hollyhock

Alcea rosea

Common Hollyhock, Alcea rosea, from Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

Herbaceous plant growing as a weed in a fallow cornfield near Iten, Kenya, Africa. January 2012.

leaf of common hollyhock, Alce rosea, photo © Michael Plagens

HERB: Annual or short-lived perennial herb sometimes exceeding two meters in height. One or a few ascending branches.

FLOWERS: The flowers are large and showy. Colors may vary within or between cultivars. The column of stamens is an easy to see feature of the flower structure.

LEAVES: The leaves are broadly palmate with about five lobes.

RANGE: This garden favorite is native to China, was imported to Europe, and later brought to Kenya by colonists. It is frequently cultivated still, but populations have become naturalized, mostly in disturbed ground in the temperate highland areas.

FRUIT: The fruit splits into many dry capsules - up to 40, each with a single seed.


Malvaceae -- Mallow Family

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Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 27 September 2012