There are 12 species of annuals and perennials, in this genus. They are native to moist often-coastal areas salt and brackish habitats from Western Europe to Central Asia. They produce broadly egg shape shallowly to deeply lobed dark green leaves. On strong, short, wiry stems it carries racemes or panicles of small pink to bluish purple, 5 petaled flowers blooming from summer to autumn. It’s well suited for a mixed or herbaceous border or wild flower gardens.
Grows in a wide range situations, but thrives in fertile moist but well drained soil in full sun.
Prone to powdery mildew, white mold, Septoria leaf spot, Flea beetles and Japanese beetles.
Althaea cannabina – This erect European species grows 6’ feet tall and just 2’ feet wide. It produces rounded, 14” long leaves each with 3-5 lobes that are dark green with paler undersides that are also hairy. Clusters of small cupped lilac to deep pink flowers 1 ¼-2” across sometimes with darker eyes open from mid summer to early autumn.