Sunday, March 27, 2011

An Edible Flower I Grew in Denver

In 1988 when I was new to Denver I fell in love with Malva sylvestris after seeing various forms at The Denver Botanic Gardens and they let me gather seeds. It hails from cold areas of Europe and self sows so heavily in Denver it can almost be a weed...but a lovely one. The leaves are delightful raw added to salads or can be cooked, though are slightly mucilaginous. The flowers look beautiful atop a salad or as a plate garnish. This relative of the hollyhock and hibiscus and okra and cotton surprised and pleased me this winter when seedlings appeared in my pathways as I revamped my front yard ruined by drought and the Rose-From-Hell 'Mermaid' that kept me out of there for a year and a half. I transplanted them to beds by the street where they thrived despite the freezes and are now blooming like crazy as heat returns.....I will be SURE to gather the tan seed capsules to sow this October. The selected form 'Zebrina' has purple stripes against a white background and is just as  reliable as a summer flower/vegetable in areas with cold, snowy winters. Here is a pic of one a few days ago. John

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