Alcea setosa (Bristly Hollyhock)

Scientific Name

Alcea setosa (Boiss.) Alef.

Common Names

Bristly Hollyhock


Alcea aegyptiaca, Alcea pontica, Althaea aegyptica, Althaea pontica, Althaea setosa

Scientific Classification

Family: Malvaceae
Subfamily: Malvoideae
Tribe: Malveae
Genus: Alcea


Color: Pink
Bloom Time: Spring


Alcea setosa is an ornamental plant that grows up to 6.7 feet (2 m) tall. Leaves are carried on a long petiole. The blade is emarginate with a diameter of up to 8 inches (20 cm). The leaf margins are smooth or dentate. As spring nears, a tall inflorescence stalk grows, reaching up to 10 feet (3 m) tall. The stalk is lignified, with alternate, sessile leaves along with and pink flowers in their axil. The leaves, the inflorescence stalk, and the fruits are characterized by bristly hairs on their surfaces.

Alcea setosa - Bristly Hollyhock
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USDA hardiness zone 5a to 9b: from −20 °F (−28.9 °C) to 30 °F (−1.1 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Once you have planted your Hollyhocks, they will need minimal care, but there are a few things you should be aware of when growing Hollyhocks.

First of all, the Hollyhocks are a short-lived perennial. This means that most varieties will only live for 2 to 3 years. Their lifespan can be extended some by removing growing Hollyhock flowers as soon as they fade. If you live in a non-tropical region, cutting them back to the ground and mulching them will also help.

The one benefit that comes from growing Hollyhock flowers is that they easily reseed themselves. While they may be short-lived in their proper growing conditions, they will continually grow more, which will keep the Hollyhock flowers consistent in years to come.

Growing Hollyhocks also benefit from fertilizer or compost in the spring. See more at How to Grow and Care for Hollyhocks.


Native to the Levant, ranging from Crete and Turkey to Israel and Jordan.


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