Malope trifida 'Vulcan', or Annual Mallow, is a glabrous, annual, herb native to Spain and North Africa. 'Vulcan' is a tetraploid hybrid of the original species. Plants will reach up to 3 feet (0.9 m) tall with a spread of about 20 inches (50 cm) wide. Leaves are rounded, dentate, unlobed or acutely 3 lobed. These are great plants for containers and for use in the landscape. In the landscape, they will reseed themselves in the fall in zone 7. They are very easy plants to grow.
Blooming Time: Plants will bloom all summer long here in zone 7. The 3 inch magenta-pink flowers are very showy. The petals are not united at the base. So you have a green 5-pointed star at the center of the flowers. Very showy!
Culture: Malope trifida 'Vulcan' needs full sun for at least 6 hours per day and a well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to equal parts of loam and sand. The plants are well watered and allowed to dry slightly before watering again. We fertilize them monthly with a balanced fertilizer diluted to 1/2 the strength recommended on the label. In the landscape here in zone 7, they do need supplemental watering throughout the summer blooming period and don't seem to take drought very well here. Plants may need to be staked in high wind areas. In the fall, the plants will die back and reseed themselves in most USDA zones.
Propagation: Malope trifida 'Vulcan' is propagated from seed (available from most seed companies).
Malope trifida 'Vulcan' was featured as Plant of the Week February 26-March 4, 2010.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.