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Common Name: Lavatera
Lavatera thuringiaca is a perennial plant that can grow up to 1.80 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
S.E. Europe to W. Asia - Armenia to Caucasia.
Hills, thickets and waysides[
], by streams to 2800 metres[
An easily grown plant, succeeding in any ordinary garden soil[
]. Prefers a light well-drained moderately fertile soil in full sun[
]. A soil that is too rich encourages foliar growth at the expense of flowering[
]. Tolerates maritime exposure[
Plants are hardy to about -20°c[
There are many named forms selected for their ornamental value[
]. The cultivar 'Barnsley' usually produces new shoots from the base in the autumn and winter. It is therefore a potential winter salad plant, though the texture of the leaves is not that wonderful[
Young leaves - raw or cooked. A mild flavour, but the leaves are tough and not very worthwhile[
]. Leaves of the cultivar 'Barnsley' are less tough and are reasonably tasty, a plant at Kew had also produced quite a few leaves in the winter and so it is a potential winter salad[
Flowers - raw. A pleasant mild flavour, they make a decorative addition to the salad bowl[
]. Many named cultivars have considerably larger flowers than the type species and are thus much more worthwhile for the salad bowl[
A strong fibre is obtained from the stems, it is used for making string, bags, paper etc[
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed[
]. Germination is usually quick and good. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in early summer[
Basal cuttings in spring.
Cuttings of softwood in early summer/July[