Alcea L.

Alcea counts about 60 species, chiefly concentrated in southwestern and central Asia. Some, especially Alcea rosea and some of its hybrids, are very popular in cultivation. Hybridisation and selection have considerably blurred the specific boundaries between some of the ornamental species.

  • Petals variably coloured but most often pinkish, or reddish, sometimes white or cream. Leaves usually shallowly lobed. Mericarps ca. 7 mm across === 1. A. rosea
  • Petals pure yellow (turning greenish-blue when dry). Leaves always deeply divided, 5(-7)-lobed. Mericarps ca. 4 mm across === 2. A. rugosa



Escobar García P., Pakravan M., Schönswetter P. & Aguilar J. (2012) Phylogenetic relationships in the species-rich Irano-Turanian genus Alcea (Malvaceae). Taxon 61(2): 324-332.

Hill S.R. (2015) Alcea. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee (eds.), Flora of North America North of Mexico, vol. 6. Oxford University Press, New York: 227-229. [available online at:]

Iljin M.M. (1974) Malvaceae. In: Shishkin B.K. (ed.), Flora of the U.S.S.R., vol. XV. Academic Scienc. U.S.S.R.: 21-137.

Köhlein F. (1992) Staudige Malvengewächse. Gartenpraxis 5: 8-12.

Le Huquet J.A. (1997) Alcea. In: Cullen J. & al. (eds.), The European Garden Flora, vol. 5. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 215.

Slavík B. (1992) Malvaceae. In: Hejný S. & Slavík B. (eds.), Kvetena Ceské Republiky, vol. 3. Academia, Praha: 282-316.

Stace C. (2010) New flora of the British Isles, 3th ed.: XXXII + 1232 p. Cambridge University Press.

Uzunhisarcikli M.E. & Vural M. (2012) The taxonomic revision of Alcea and Althaea (Malvaceae) in Turkey. Turkish Journal of Botany 36(6): 603-636. [available online at:]

Webb D.A. (1968) Alcea. In: Tutin T.G. & al. (eds.), Flora Europaea, volume 2. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 253-254.

Zohary M. (1963a) Taxonomical studies in Alcea of south-western Asia, part. 1. Bull. Res. Council Israel 11D: 210-229.

Zohary M. (1963b) Taxonomical studies in Alcea of south-western Asia, part. 2. Israel J. Bot. 12: 1-26.

Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith