Native to the fields and prairies of central US, this mat-forming herbaceous perennial is a member of the mallow family, Malvaceae, that also includes hollyhock, hibiscus, and coffee.  It grows 6-12″ tall from a tap root and  has  sprawling stems carrying  orbicular, palmately-divided leaves that are  4″ across, coarsely toothed, and have 5-7 finger-like lobes.  From late spring into fall, solitary cup-shaped magenta flowers appear  on slender stems above the foliage.  The upward-facing flowers are are 1.5-2.5″ across and have a column of stamens with unique style branches, surrounded by 5 broad petals that are often white near the base.  Suitable for both a  formal garden and naturalized areas, purple poppy mallow is a good choice for a groundcover and border, as well as  rock, wildflower,native plant, meadow, and wall gardens.  The genus name, Callirhoe, honors the daughter of a minor river god in Greek mythology.  The specific epithet, involucrata, is the Latin word meaning having an involucre, a ring of bracts surrounding several flowers.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Cup-shaped, magenta flowers 1.5-2.5″ across from late spring into fall

Size: 6-12′ H x 6-36″ W

Light: Full sun;tolerates some shade

Soil: Average, dry to medium moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 4-8

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: None of significance but crown rot can be a problem in poorly drained soil.

Propagation: Seed; plants do not transplant well because of taproot

Companion Plants:Rock purslane, purple prairie clover, sundrop, Artemisia ‘Silver Brocade’, yucca, dwarf spurges, sedums

Photo Credit:Wikipedia

By Karen