One of the loveliest of our native wildflowers has got to be Sidalcea, or checker mallow.
It is truly a cheery sight in late spring through early summer, the tall stems of delicate hollyhock-like blossoms of white to rosy pink standing tall in the sunny border of the garden, actively visited by both bees and butterflies. Of the two dozen or so species of Sidalcea native to western North America, about ten are native to Oregon.
There are species that make their home along the coast and on each side of the Cascades, so there are checker-mallows suitable for a range of garden conditions. For the most part, they are best in a full sun to partial shade location. Most are also happiest with moist to wet, well-drained soil (some will tolerate hotter/drier conditions too, if they’re given a bit more shade, or extra attention with supplemental watering).
Bees and butterflies will enjoy your Sidalcea; some species are beneficial as host plants for the caterpillars of a few of our native butterflies, an added plus.
Part of the Butterfly Bed & Breakfast Project.