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Malacothamnus fasciculatus 'Casitas'

Common Name:
Chaparral bush mallow
Plant Type:
Evergreen shrub
Family:
Malvaceae (The Mallow Family)
Geographic Origin:
California
California Native?:
Yes
Plant Size:
6-8 feet
Landscape/Garden Uses:
naturalizing
Flowering Season:
Spring and summer
Flower Color:
Light pink
Exposure:
Full sun
Soils:
Most soils
Suggested Irrigation:
Moderate to occasional watering
Estimated Hardiness:
Hardy to 15 degrees F. or less
This plant can be found near Lake Casitas in Ventura County, making ghostly grey puffs in the chaparral. It grows strongly erect, with grey-hairy stems and sharply lobed grey leaves up to 4 inches long, and can make sizeable thickets from underground stems and roots. In late summer and fall, long stalks with well-separated bud clusters extend from the shoot tips. Each bud unfolds into a cupped, upfacing 1 inch + blossom of exquisite silvery pink. This is a tough, adaptable plant, especially useful on banks and other exposed sites. Its chief drawback is a tendency to pop up uninvited in nearby plantings (those shoots are easily rogued out). Sun, most soils, moderate to occasional watering. Hardy to 15 degrees F or less.