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.

Lavatera trimestris L. var. alba

Fully-hardy annual with rounded, shallowly lobed leaves, to 6cm long, and, in the variety alba, open funnel-shaped white flowers, to 10cm across, produced singly from the leaf axils in summer.  In the species the flowers vary from white to blush pink.  To 1.2m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Our plant is undoubtedly the Spanish blush Mallow of Parkinson, and the Lavatera althaeaefolia of Miller; according to the former, it is a native of Spain, according to the latter, of Syria.  Mr. Miller considers it as distinct from the trimestris; Mr. Aiton has no althaeaefolia in his Hort. Kew. we are therefore to conclude that the althaeaefolia of Miller, and the trimestris of Linnaeus are one and the same species.  Of the annuals commonly raised in our gardens, this is one of the most shewy, as well as the most easily cultivated; its seeds are to be sown in March, on the borders where they are to remain, the plants thinned as they come up, and kept clear of weeds.  It varies with white blossoms, and flowers from July to September.’  [BM t.109/1790].

Lavatera trimestris was introduced to Britain in 1633.  [JD].

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [T.632/1857].


Published Jan 13, 2010 - 01:23 PM | Last updated Jul 27, 2010 - 05:07 PM

Figured are shallowly lobed leaves and a trumpet-shaped white, pink flushed flower .  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.109, 1790.

Lavatera trimestris L. | BM t.109/1790 | BHL.  The flower figured has blush pink rather than white flowers.

Family Malvaceae
Region of origin


  • Lavatera alba Medik.
  • Lavatera rosea Medik.
  • Lavatera althaeaefolia Mill.
Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record

Lavatera alba 

Confidence level