Tree Mallow 'Bicolor'

Lavatera maritima

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




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


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:


Magenta (Pink-Purple)

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From hardwood cuttings

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

Berkeley, California

Carpinteria, California

Castro Valley, California

Citrus Heights, California

Crescent City, California

Fairfield, California

Fremont, California

Huntington Beach, California

Martinez, California

Oceanside, California

Rancho Cucamonga, California

San Diego, California (2 reports)

San Leandro, California

Santa Rosa, California

Sonoma, California

Spring Valley, California

Turlock, California

Vista, California

West Sacramento, California

Astoria, Oregon

Klamath Falls, Oregon

Ocean Shores, Washington

Seattle, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 27, 2012, walknencyc from Huntington Beach, CA wrote:

My husband and I bought our first tree mallow about 10 years ago. We planted it in a giant terra cotta pot on our patio, just a few feet from the family room bay window. Our little Lavatera flowered almost year round here in Huntington Beach, Ca., though it was always a little scraggly looking. What we loved most about it was how much the hummingbirds took to it ! We had our backyard totally redone three years ago, and transplanted the lavatera in our specially blended garden soil in our new river rock planters. That little tree took off and flowered like never before! Sadly, my son and I pruned it back, as it was taking over. We believe the unusually cold weather and pruning combination did it in. I do have two small seedlings that started from the original tree, and went in search of a l... read more


On Apr 5, 2010, peejay12 from Porthleven, Helston, Cornwall,
United Kingdom (Zone 9b) wrote:

I love this plant, although the colours are too soft for many people. This plant is sometimes mistaken for Lavatera clementii 'Barnsley', a much hardier, but rather short-lived plant.

The flowers are much neater than the flowers of L clementii, pale lilac with a dark veining. The flowers have a long staminal tube, like a hibiscus. It flowers for much longer than L. clementii -- in the UK it flowers for five or six months. And silvery leaves -- what more could you ask for?

Coming from Mediterranean countries, it is much less hardy than the common Lavatera species -- my plants lived for seven years, but were killed when we had a frost of -7C.
If you think a hard frost is likely, wrap protective netting around the lower 12'' of the plant, and the plant ... read more


On Jan 17, 2010, annlof from Camarillo, CA wrote:

Squiggly lines on the leaves are probably caused by leaf-miners, which are harmless, if unattractive. In Southern California, this plant flowers almost year round with very little supplemental water. Plants usually need to be replaced every five years, but as they grow to 6' in one season, it's not a hardship.


On Aug 11, 2009, dillansnana from Hemet, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I think the tree mallow is the one I have. Plant is growing well, however right now the leaves have a squiggly lines on them, like snails or something has been on them. Any suggestions on what to do to elliminate this problem?
Thanks for any and all help.
Sylvia Kinnee, Hemet,Ca


On Aug 7, 2006, WebInt from Vista, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Fast growth makes up for short life span. Like most Mallows, it can get thin with size. Regular pruning results in a dense plant. I have found that if planted in partial shade and if pruned to become dense, it attracts whitefly in SoCal (Go figure). Probably came over from the neighbors Hibiscus.

Great background plant in beds due to regular flowering.


On Mar 22, 2005, Chuck1260 from Arroyo Grande, CA wrote:

Grows very well in Arroyo Grande in poor soil. Deer love it. Flowers most of the year. It can stand heavy pruning.


On Oct 6, 2004, deg909 from Alta Loma, CA wrote:

Beautiful in So.Cal Inland (USGS 9, Sunset 19). I have had great luck: have grown it in full sun, part shade, full (but bright) shade. Maratima Bicolor has transplanted well, needs much less water than other lavateras. Mine bloom 10-12 months per year.


On Aug 28, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a large mounding evergreen shrub that grows to 6-8 feet tall and 8-12 feet wide. The gray-green leaves are palmately lobed. The light lavender/pink flowers have lavender centers and lavender veins radiating from the centers. These flowers bloom year-round and the peak bloom period is early spring to late fall. Plant in sun or part shade, water moderately.


On Jul 4, 2004, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

i have 3 of them against a sundrenched wood fencel, 6ft tall by 6ft across, the 2 that get the most pruning are the bushiest ones, i have to trim them occasionaly as I think they would get much larger. But it's flowers are sooo atractive, and keep blooming all year. Spring/summer is the best show. Very little water is needed. the soil is alkaline, hard clay and rocky.


On Dec 27, 2003, RichSwanner from Citrus Heights, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

This a very hardy plant. It takes the cold 20 to 25F. Flowers almost like a hibiscus. Flowers all the time, and continues to offer a much needed reminder of warmer days. I tend to have winter flowering plants around for this reason.This is in the Malvacae family(hibiscus. alyogyne huegelii,etc).