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HOLLYHOCK : Alcea rosea

Although imported into the UK from Europe and in turn from from southwestern China, that was way back during, or possibly before, the 15th century, so it is now considered native. William Turner, a herbalist of the time, gave it the name "holyoke" from which the English name derives.

Our example was found along the upper Leven towpath in July and is, as many others, very likely an escapee from a garden.

They look much like variegated poppies. 

The Garden Trust blog tells us that Alcea rosea , to give it its scientific name is  a member of Mallow family.  ‘Alcea‘ comes from the Greek word Alceos, meaning ‘to cure’ and many mallows, including hollyhocks  appear in early herbals and medical texts as cures for a wide range of ailments  from sore throats and bladder inflammation to soothing horses’ hooves. 

This source, (see link below), is good reading for those interested in gardening, history and literature.



GARDEN TRUST BLOG : Good article, well ilustrated.    https://thegardenstrust.blog/2020/09/05/hollyhocks/

WIKIPEDIA : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcea_rosea

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