Desert-Wise Living >> Desert-Wise Landscaping >> Plant Spotlight

Plant Spotlight: Apricot Mallow

Photo by Arch McCullough
A favorite springtime native flower of many Morongo Basin residents (and hummingbirds) is the Apricot Mallow. With its upturned, bright orange-cupped flowers, and grey-green foliage, mallow fits into most any landscaping scheme. With any luck, you won't need to plant it as it will volunteer in your water-wise garden! 
Sphaeralcea ambigua is common along our Basin's roadsides in spring, with its flowering dependent upon seasonal rains. Though most mallow flowers are apricot-orange, there are also pink, purple, red, white and shades in between. Prune once a year after blooming to 6"-12" above ground to help eliminate unproductive woody growth and reseeding. Do not try and shear this plant regularly as it will not respond well. Wear gloves when pruning as its leaves can be a skin irritant.

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