2 - 3 m
Pink; February March; summer autumn
sun; clay soils; container; rockery; slope bank; wildlife bees butterflies insects; narrow spaces; fast-growing easy-care
rocky places; grassland; coastal eastern cape; coastal kzn
thicket; highveld; Subtropical East Coast
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Painting the slopes of the Drakensberg marshmallow pink are the large cup-like flowers of the Mountain Mallow, Anisodontea julii. This showy shrub flowers throughout summer, reaching mature height in a single season, so is the perfect gift for an impatient gardener. Its generosity does not stop there; though the life span is short – usually 5 years – it both self-seeds easily and suckers from the roots so there are always replacements reader by the time the parent plant dies off. Mimic this generosity by giving unwanted seedlings to friends. Growth form is slim and neat. Aside from end of season pruning to prevent woodiness, it needs very little upkeep. Large, pink flowers show up beautifully against the large pale grey/green leaves. Height is variable; in some areas it grows to 3m with a 2m spread, but it is often smaller. The Mountain Mallow tucks neatly into a mixed bed, part of a shrubbery, or close to the house, a pathway or the patio where the flowers and their visitors can be enjoyed. Anisodontea julii tolerates moderate frost and hot summers, and though it is a summer rainfall species, it does equally well in a winter rainfall garden. It has moderate water needs through the summer and survives the usual winter drought.