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Facts on Hollyhocks

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Facts on Hollyhocks

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Facts on Hollyhocks image by Mini hollyhock flowers, naturlovr:morguefile.com
Facts on Hollyhocks image by Mini hollyhock flowers, naturlovr:morguefile.com

Overview

Hollyhocks, or Althea rosea, are delicate flowers that blossom flower in mid-summer season. The plant, which has about 60 species, are native to Asia and can be biennial or tender perennials.

Growth

Flower spikes emerge from May to October and can be 5 to 9 feet tall. The flowers are usually shades of white, violet or pink. The plant grows best in full sun.

Meaning

The word "hollyhock" comes from "alkaia," the Greek word for mallow. "Holly" may be the word "holy" corrupted.

Japan Ties

A hollyhock is the Tokugawa family's seal in Japan. It is a symbol to the era that the Tokugawa family ruled Japan.

Presidential Ties

Thomas Jefferson once bred a variety of hollyhock that was dark red. It was cultivated at Monticello in his flowerbeds.

History

Hollyhocks were found in the grave of a Neanderthal man from more than 50,000 years ago. Tudors used hollyhock dried roots for additions to their wine to stave off blood clots and miscarriages. The Chinese used it in many of their recipes.

Traditional Uses

Hazel buds, wild thyme, marigolds, and hollyhocks were a recipe from 1660 AD that supposedly enabled anyone who ate it see fairies. Hollyhock dolls were made for children as well. A lotion can be made from flowers to heal sunburn and dry skin. Infusions from the flowers were used for bladder and lung disease.

References

  • Central Park.com
  • English Cottage Garden Nursery
Keywords: Hollyhocks, Althea rosea, biennial plants

About this Author

T.M. Samuels has been a freelance writer since 1993. She has published works in "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living" and "Mature Years," and is the author of a gardening book. Samuels studied pre-medicine at Berry College.

Photo by: Mini hollyhock flowers, naturlovr:morguefile.com