Anisodontea Species, African Mallow, Cape African Queen, Cape Mallow

Anisodontea capensis

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Anisodontea (an-iss-oh-DON-tee-uh) (Info)
Species: capensis (ka-PEN-sis) (Info)
Synonym:Malva capensis



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

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

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


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


Tucson, Arizona

Citrus Heights, California

Corona, California

Davis, California

Sacramento, California

Hollywood, Florida

Riverview, Florida

Austin, Texas

Belton, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 7, 2017, GardenerFrance from Drme,
France wrote:

I have just bought one of these. The plant is from hot, dry slopes in South Africa. It's given hardiness is down to -8/-10C on well-drained soil, which is about what I get here, and up to 38C in the summer. It is perhaps worth noting that plants used to summer heat and sharp drainage won't stand such low winter temperatures in wet soil. It's one of the main differences I've noted between gardening here and in the UK, where winters tended to be milder. If a plant has well-ripened wood from summer heat the shoots can take lower temperatures too.


On Nov 25, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Bloom is showy, profuse, and continuous.

This is a sub-shrub with a woody base, not a true herbaceous perennial. It is sometimes grown as a standard (a topiary ball-on-a-stick).

Cultivars are widely grown here (Massachusetts) as patio or container plants. Also good as a greenhouse shrub.


On Jun 29, 2015, peejay12 from Porthleven, Helston, Cornwall,
United Kingdom (Zone 9b) wrote:

'El Rayo' is a cultivar of this plant available in the UK.

In the garden centre it may not look worth buying -- in a 3 litre pot it looks like a rather straggly Lavatera with smaller flowers, but it soon becomes much more impressive. It is very very fast growing and soon fills out to become a very attractive shrub if you prune back the long shoots to encourage a bushy shape.

In warm climates with regular rainfall it flowers all year, but in the UK it will flower continuously through the growing season -- much longer than Lavatera. The flowers of El Rayo are a bit larger than the species, and the leaves are bright green.

It's difficult to fault this plant, but it is probably not as hardy as the suppliers claim. I would say -3C will kill it in... read more