Black Hollyhock (Alcea rosea) is a striking, all black/dark mahogany variation of this classic flower. The original seed stock was a gift of now unknown origin that remained in our farm stock for years until it was grown out in our home garden in the Summer of 2017. Seeds matured late and weren't viable enough to release into the catalog. Attempted 2018 production in Ojai failed due to squirrel predation on the plants. Focused work with this variety in 2019 has finally yielded a quality, beautiful strain of this plant.
Flowering stalks reach four to six feet tall and produce 15-20 blossoms per plant. Plants have low water and fertility requirements; trellising is optional if watering is done in moderation. We didn't do anything special with this crop and had really good results.
Bees are absolutely rapt with hollyhocks; on any given evening we pass by the stands and they resemble the sound of a beehive. Hollyhocks are also heavy seeders, so expect follow up stands for years to come. Or, gather the seeds and spread them in fallow areas to start wildflower meadows. Dried stalks can also be used for handmade rope/cordage.
Black Hollyhocks are annuals that will blossom in 75-90 days from seed and production under ideal conditions.