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Malva Rosa
Malva assurgentiflora
About Malva Rosa (Malva assurgentiflora) Nurseries Show All Photos Lavatera Assurgentiflora (Mission Mallow, Island Mallow, Royal Mallow, Island Tree Mallow, Malva Rosa) is a species of flowering plant in the mallow family. It is endemic to California, where it is native to the Channel Islands. It can also be found growing in coastal mainland California, where it is an escapee from It is grown as an ornamental plant and windbreak. This is a sprawling perennial herb or bushy shrub generally exceeding a meter tall and approaching four meters in maximum height. The leaves are up to 15 centimeters long and wide and are divided into 5 to 7 toothed lobes. The showy flowers have five dark-veined deep pink petals which are somewhat rectangular in shape and 2.5 to 4.5 centimeters long. The disc-shaped fruit is divided into 6 or 8 segments each containing a seed.

This plant prefers full sun and well draining soils. It can handle a moderate amount of summer irrigation, up to every other week, as long as it's well drained. Can handle a wide variety of soil types, including clay and sand.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3.3 - 13 ft (1 - 4 m)

Max. Width
5 - 10 ft (1.5 - 3.0 m)

Mounding, Rounded

Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate


Leaves are divided into 5 to 7 toothed lobes, approximately 15 cm wide.

Flower Color
Pink, Purple, Red

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Coastal bluffs


Elevation ?
-140' - 1515'

Annual Precip. ?
7.8" - 31.3"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 0.43"

Coldest Month ?
44.7° F - 57.4° F

Hottest Month ?
60.1° F - 78.0° F

Humidity ?
0.88 vpd - 23.46 vpd

Soil Description

Soil Texture
Clay, Clay Loam, Loam, Loamy Sand, Sand, Sandy Clay, Sandy Clay Loam

Soil PH
5 - 8

Soil Toxicity Tolerance
Tolerates Serpentine Soil

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 20 - 30° F

Companion Plants
Giant Coreopsis, Island Bristleweed, Greene's Liveforever, Santa Cruz Island Liveforever, Santa Cruz Island Dandelion, Island Broom

Wildlife Attracted
Attracts many species of butterflies

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water, 1x/month, 2x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment. Germination of ten poor.

Common uses
Hedges, Hummingbird Gardens, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Lavatera Assurgentiflora,Lavatera assurgentiflora ssp. glabra,Lavatera assurgentiflora ssp. assurgentiflora

Common Names
Island Mallow

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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