Globemallow Sphaeralcea ambigua
We didn’t think it would survive in Dallas. Much less bloom. Well, the Globemallow’s exquisite pink flowers triggered gardeners’ squeals—this is a passionate bunch!—last week at the Raincatcher’s Garden.
We planted Globemallow on a whim last year in the Butterfly/Hummingbird Garden. Most natives from the Big Bend region fail miserably in our dense clay, but this shrubby perennial will tolerate our soil and treat gardeners to “spectacular displays in wet years” according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
The combination of purplish-pink 1” cup-shaped flowers and grayish-green scalloped leaves is a show stopper. The most common bloom color, however, is an apricot-orange suggestive of spring quince. If you prefer a color, you might be wise to purchase the plant in bloom.
Steer clear of stroking the leaves. The little hairs can irritate and sometimes cause an allergic reaction.
Plant Globemallow or Desert Mallow in full sun. It will become straggly in partial shade. It is lovely with grasses or scattered throughout natural plantings.
Picture courtesy of http://www.wildflower.org