Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Tree Mallow
Lavatera maritima

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lavatera (lav-uh-TEER-uh) (Info)
Species: maritima (muh-RIT-tim-muh) (Info)

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

Click thumbnail
to view:

By mgarr
Thumbnail #1 of Lavatera maritima by mgarr


3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Actee On Mar 3, 2010, Actee from Paris
France wrote:

L. maritima should not stand -10F, even for a short time. A hard frost kills the plant before the flowering stage. I grow it as a annual species, as it can reach the size of a small tree within half a year.

Positive Needsweeding On Dec 13, 2009, Needsweeding from Wendouree
Australia wrote:

I love this plant, it's rarely out of bloom here in Australia, it grows quickly and just doesn't seem to need much attention. My shrub is the plain Lavatera Maratima, but I'm hoping to get the "Kew Rose" cultivar to make an informal hedge. I don't know what 'zone' I am, but summer temps can get around mid 40C and winter into spring often sees frosts. Rarely, though as cold as minus 5C.

If anyone wants a quick informal hedge or privacy screen, this one would only take a couple of years to get there.

Positive rxbait On Oct 21, 2009, rxbait from Roseburg, OR wrote:

In Oregon, the Lavatera Maritima is commonly named as the "Hawaian Tree Geranium", when in fact it is a tree mallow.

It is best planted near the house as there is some damage caused by hard freezes, Do not let any snow slide off the roof on them as it will snap off the "trunks".

Can be grown as a shrub or kept pruned to form a small tree.

Neutral omegabook On Mar 11, 2007, omegabook from La Mesa, CA wrote:

Just planted March 2007. I purchased the plant in a 1 gallon pot after seeing it growing at the nursery. Tends to be open, rangy grower, so needs to be cut back hard. Flowers are abundant--a lovely pink with dark rose center and veining. After I have more experience with it, I'll add to this report.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Casa De Oro-mount Helix, California
Oceanside, California
Santa Rosa, California
Roseburg, Oregon (2 reports)
Kirkland, Washington

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