Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Althaea rosea (L.) Cav.

Biennial or perennial with lobed leaves and tall spikes, to 3m or more, of large single or double flowers, to 12cm across, in shades of red, white and purple.  Ancient garden plant, single and double varieties grown in European gardens since at least the 16th century.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘A native of China; introduced [to Britain] in 1753, and now an universal inhabitant of the garden and shrubbery in all the temperate parts of Europe, where it is a hardy biennial and greatly admired for its stately growth, and the size and profusion and rich and varied colour of the blossoms, which continue to flower in succession from June till a late period in autumn.  Hollyhocks succeed too in any soil, but no where perhaps so perfectly as in the vicinity of the sea.’  [BM t.3198/1832].

History at Camden Park

German seed of 15 varieties of the double Hollyhock was ordered from James Carter, Seedsman and Florist, of High Holborn, on April 8th, 1846.  [MP A2933-1, p.128].  Hollyhocks are not listed in any of the catalogues.


Published Feb 01, 2009 - 03:18 PM | Last updated Jul 27, 2010 - 04:37 PM

Depicted is a robust, upright stem with bright red, single flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3198, 1832.

Althaea rosea (L.) Cav. | BM t.3198/1832 | BHL

Family Malvaceae
Region of origin

Uncertain origin, probably Asia



  • Alcea rosea L.
Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record

Double Hollyhock 

Confidence level