Lavatera in the garden

Lavatera front of house

I have Lavatera at the front of the house.

Lavatera bottom of garden

I have Lavatera at the bottom of the garden.  In fact, it is an ideal plant for this area and I will have one anywhere I have a space in the garden.  The grey green leaves give a clue and it is indeed a well suited plant to withstand hot, dry summers.

It can get a bit untidy as its fast growth can take you by surprise.  It is not a long-lived shrub and we have already got a small shrub in waiting and some cuttings – just in case they are needed.  They root very easily and are not difficult to find homes for if you end up with an extra pot or two.

Lavatera Carpenter

Mine is a Tree Mallow but I have no idea of the species.  In French it is called Lavatère en Arbre or Mauve en Arbre – a very appropriate name as they are mostly this mauve colour.

They attract all sorts of pollinators, it is a Carpenter bee in the above picture.

Tetralonia from distance.JPG

However, it is at this time of year I love to check out the flowers in the morning and I often find what I think is a Tetralonia malvae bee still asleep in the flowers.

Tetralonia close.JPG

What surprises me is that she is not an early riser.  I took this photograph at 9.44 a.m.

Tetralonia v.close

You do not often get the time to get close up and photograph bees.  What appeals to me is that she is such a fluffy bee.  Her long feathery hairs on her hind legs look so silky but are perfect to transport caches of pollen to her nest.

Tetralonia with pollen

Once she starts collecting pollen the hairs are covered and take the colour of whatever pollen she might be gathering.  She is pretty faithful to the Malvaceae family but the pollen colours do vary.

Tetralonia in Guimauve

This is what she looks like gathering pollen from the Marsh Mallow.

Tetralonia in lavatera

So many reasons for growing Lavatera.




17 thoughts on “Lavatera in the garden

      1. Bees are more on lavender than on Mauve in our garden. We have 5 lavenders, which is a lot in a small garden, and they attract a lot of all kind of bees, but I can’t take good photos of them ! I’ll have a better look on Mauve.

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  1. Lavatera was one of my Mum’s favourite shrubs, she grew it in Norfolk in the UK. We do not have it here in Seattle, though I think it would be happy. My carpets of creeping thyme which are everywhere are currently covered in bees of various kinds, and we are just about to cut down the daises that grew in a lawn area. Waited until the bees had done their thing. Great pics as always Amelia.

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    1. I have a thriving cutting of the Lavatera, there is just the problem of the Atlantic Ocean and a bit more :(. Thyme is such a great plant for the bees and the daisies grow back soon. Amelia


          1. You know, now that I thin of it, they do not attract the Tetralonia malvae because they do not live here. I should have thought of that earlier. Honeybees do happen to like the Abutilon, but prefer the rosemary and other flowers that re out in warmer situations. The abutilon is down in riparian situations. About noon, I will be near a rather large abutilon that happens to be out in the open, and is typically a circus of bees. It gets ants too but not in a serious aphid-fest sort of way. They just come, take some nectar, and leave.

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