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Alcea rosea, or Hollyhocks, are herbaceous flowering plants that
reseed themselves and can produce colonies of plants that return in the
garden year after year. They are typically found in cultivated areas and
rarely in "the wild". Their original habitat is unknown, but the plant
is probably a cultigen that started out in Turkey. Note that it is
sometimes listed in nursery catalogs under Althaea.
The plant prefers full to partial sun, a heavy, rich, Organic soil
and seeds, sown in late summer or early fall, will flower the following
summer. The plant tolerates a wide range of soil conditions and some
light shade, but will not tolerate wet winter soils. Considered a
biennial or short-lived perennial. It is a very ornamental plant and the
flowers come in a number of various colors, from lavender to red to
yellow, and resemble Papaver somniferum (poppies). The flowers
grow on rigid, towering spikes of 5 to 8 feet tall and usually do not
require staking. The plant has a long bloom period of June to August.
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