HOLLYHOCK 'BLACK BEAUTY'
Tall spires hold numerous large, silky, glistening, almost black trumpets, in fact the darkest we have seen. If left to self-seed these flowers are amongst the most magnificent of specimens. In addition, this herb can be used in the same manner as marshmallow; the flowers, with the calyx removed, are commonly used to treat colds as they are a demulcent. Historically, hollyhocks have been used for many other types of medication and also as dye plants.
For best results, sow immediately onto a good soil-based compost. Cover the seeds with fine grit or compost to approximately their own depth. They can be sown at any time, and germination can sometimes be quicker if kept at 15 to 20 degrees C. We sow most seeds in an unheated greenhouse and wait for natural germination, as many seeds have built-in dormancy mechanisms, often waiting for natural spring germination, hence giving them a full season of growth.
Common name:Alcea rosea, syn. Althaea rosea