Tree Mallow

Lavatera assurgentiflora

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lavatera (lav-uh-TEER-uh) (Info)
Species: assurgentiflora (as-sur-jen-tih-FLOR-uh) (Info)




Foliage Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Fuchsia (Red-Purple)

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


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

Amesti, California

Carmel, California

Fairfax, California

Long Beach, California

Los Altos, California

Monterey, California

Pacifica, California

Richmond, California

Sacramento, California

San Diego, California (2 reports)

San Dimas, California

San Leandro, California

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 5, 2015, CAGrandmama from Pacifica, CA wrote:

Possibly the most carefree plant that I own. I give it a little water, make sure that the drainage is good, and that's it. Flowers pop out in profusion year round in our foggy, cool San Francisco location. It reached 10 feet in less than 2 years.

We have tried time and again to find plants that will stand up to the wind and salt as we live near the ocean. I have spent hundreds of dollars on trees that died or that I transplanted in mercy, to get them out of the rough conditions. This bends and doesn't break and seems to have no diseases. The leaves are soft and rather silvery, especially when they are turned in the wind.

Our weather has about a 15 degree Fahrenheit difference between winter and summer, so we're not challenged with high heat or low tempe... read more


On Sep 18, 2010, natureguyfrog from San Diego, CA wrote:

There cannot be enough good things to be said about this plant for a wildlife garden with low water requirements! Probably would not do as a street tree only because it produces litter...( do Jacauranda trees!!!) and needs pruning to shape it as a tree.

This shrubby tree is extremely easy to grow. It thrives in poor soil...even clay. Will take summer water but must be careful not to overwater in heavy soil. Extremely fast growing and is an excellent choice for a temporary tree or tall shrub to fill in until slower growing trees or shrubs develope. Has a deep tap root system which makes it an ideal candidate for slope planting. Excellent erosion control when allowed to grow naturally with its heavy wide-spreading branches and strong root system. Seedlings sprout unde... read more


On Sep 1, 2010, peejay12 from Porthleven, Helston, Cornwall
United Kingdom (Zone 9b) wrote:

I was lucky to get seed of this plant (difficult in Europe) and found it germinated very soon. The seedlings grew very fast - rather like Hollyhocks - and by the end of the season they were four feet tall.

I decided to overwinter the young plants in the greenhouse and planted them out in April. They rapidly reached six feet tall and began to branch out. The shrubs now looked rather like Abutilon vitifolium, but with larger deep green palmate leaves and a silver grey trunk.

I thought the flowers, when they appeared were rather disappointing. Although they were brighter coloured than other Lavatera species, they seemed very small for the size of the plant. They also were partly hidden by the huge leaves.

Next year I tried the plant again in a... read more


On Jun 11, 2004, kdunnett from Greenfield, CA wrote:

This plant grows well with little or no attention. I've successfully propagated from seed.


On May 19, 2004, WalterT from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Native on some of the Channel Islands off the coast of S. California therefore can stand little frost, if any. Grows readily and rapidly from seed. Water needs are modest. Flower is jewel-like. See picture of flower and leaf on WalterT's page. Obviously picture #3 is a different plant flower, namely Lavatera maritima, a native of the western Mediterranean area. WTH.