Plant This: Globemallow sizzles with electric color


Labeled as an orange globemallow, which I’ve coveted since seeing one in South of the River‘s garden years ago, my globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) surprised me by turning out to be red.


It doesn’t bother me one bit. I love red.


But now I need an orange one too.

Globemallow likes lots of sun and excellent drainage, and it’s very drought-tolerant. It grows to about 3 feet tall and wide. What a beautiful plant for a hot, sunny exposure.

Note: My Plant This posts are written primarily for gardeners in central Texas. The plants I recommend are ones I’ve grown myself and have direct experience with. I wish I could provide more information about how these plants might perform in other parts of the country, but gardening knowledge is local. Consider checking your local online gardening forums to see if a particular plant might work in your region.

All material © 2006-2010 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

8 Responses

  1. M A Newcomer says:

    Pam, there are at 40 + kinds of globemallow. I first encountered the copper one (angustifolia) at one of the nurseries in Austin, with YOU! I have two orange species: munroana and grossulariifolia . LOVE THEM. I also whack mine back to delay the blooms and to force the plant to fill out. Actually, I do that to some and not to others so I get a full lush look, plus some of the tall wavy stems.

    Hey, cool! Thanks for the tip about whacking them back for a lusher look. —Pam

  2. Gail says:

    It’s that dang excellent drainage that trips me up every time;-) They are nice flowers~ gail

  3. Nicole says:

    Very lovely plants. I recently sowed some seeds Noelle sent.

  4. Jayne says:

    I’m not familiar with globe mallow at all, but it looks lovely.

  5. melanie says:

    I have never heard of globemallow either. I just googled it. turns out it is not hardy where I live…

  6. jenn says:

    I love my sherbet orange globe mallows!

  7. Mamaholt says:

    OOO, I want one. Beautiful.

  8. Is this one of those that likes alkaline soils? Looks like something that might like Charleston with the exception we have acidic soils.

    I expect so, CIMS. It’s native to the southwest plains and high desert regions of the U.S., which generally have alkaline soils. —Pam

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