Bredon Springs

'Bredon Springs'
Shrub Mallow


"There was a shopping mall
Now it's all covered with flowers
you've got it, you've got it."

-David Byrne,
b.1952

   

Lavatera x clementii designates those hybrids derived from L. olbia crossed with L. thuringiaca. The cultivar 'Bredon Springs' was named for the village of Bredon in Worchestershire, England. It is a recipient of the Award of Garden Merit for ease of growing & certainty of performance & beauty.

This dusky rose-flowered shrubby tree-mallow, or shrub mallow, bursts into bloom by July & continues flowering into autumn. The blossoms open nearly flat with just a bit of convex forming a shallow cup of overlapping petals, attractive to bees & butterflies.

'Bredon Springs' reaches six or eight feet of upright & fountaining glory, being even more robust than the naturally robust species. The grey-green foliage is semi-evergreen on Puget Sound (Zone 8). It will be increasingly deciduous the further north it is grown. In zones too cold for it to overwinter even with mulching (below zone 5), it can still be grown as an annual.

It needs exceedingly well-draining soil if it is in the way of any irrigation device, & would really prefer to be placed behond the reach of irrigation. It blooms spectacularly in poor dry soil. When grown in poor soil its ultimate lifespan is extended. In rich soil tree or shrub mallows grow all the more rapidly & develops thicker foliage with no advantage to its floriferousness, & with an overall shortening of lifespan.

It likes a substantial pruning (to a foot or even shorter) in late winter or early spring to refresh itself each year. It does it no harm to skip a year pruning now & then, though it will be less flowery in unpruned years.

This cultivar is fertile & can self-seed, or seeds can be collected to germinate in controlled conditions, though it is more easily propagated by rooted cuttings. So if a specimen after a couple of decades seems to be tiring from great old age, it is easy to start it over, & due to such rapid growth it is no long wait to have a brand new large shrub re-established. Or, since 'Bredon Springs' does grow with such swiftness, it would be a candidate for starting several cuttings in pots to give out as gifts as soon as they are bushy & in full flower.

See my primary bush mallow article:
'Barnsley' Bush Mallow

   



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