Althaea officinalis L.
Althaea officinalis is a perennial.
Althaea officinalis was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.
The comparatively long-lived perennials have an upright growth and reach heights of 1,8 to 2 metres. The plants reach a width of 0.3 to 1 metres.
Althaea officinalis is deciduous. The light-green, simple leaves are alternate. They are palmately lobed, dentate and petiolate.
Flowers and Fruits
Althaea officinalis produces solitary light-purple cup-shaped flowers in July.
The perennials produce schizocarps.
Althaea officinalis is native to the whole of Europe, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, the Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, West-Siberia, East Siberia, Central Asia, Algeria and Tunesia and is naturalized in North America.
The perennials prefer a sunny situation on moist soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy or gritty-loamy soil with a pH between 8 and 10. They tolerate temperatures down to -40Â°C (USDA zone 3).
Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber
- open areas
The ornamental value of Althaea officinalis lies especially in its fragrance. The recommended planting distance is 90 centimetres, the perennials are best planted in groups of 3 to 5. Suited for cottage gardens, as well as suited as bee pasture.
Maintenance and Propagation
The plants need little to no maintenance if grown under suitable conditions.
- Cut back in autumn.
Propagate by sowing.
Pests and Diseases
- Walter Erhardt, Erich GÃ¶tz, Nils BÃ¶deker, Siegmund Seybold: Der groÃe Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
- Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.