This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
Lavatera sylvcstris, Brot. ( = Z. cretica,L.). - This plant is found in waste places. The plant has an erect or ascending habit. The stem is herbaceous, hairy, rarely prostrate, and is like the Common Mallow, but possesses a 3-lobed epicalyx or involucre. The lower leaves are rounded to heart-shaped, the upper 5-lobed, blunt below, the lobes triangular, acute. The flower-stalks are axillary, shorter than the leaf-stalks, 1-flowered. The flowers are rose-purple. The fruit is smooth on a conical axis, with convex sides. The plant is 2-4 ft. high, flowering from June to August, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is waste places. The plant is prostrate in habit, downy. The stems are numerous. The leaves are round (hence rotundifolia), kidney-shaped or heart-shaped, toothed, with 5-7 obscure lobes, scalloped, long-stalked. The stipules are ovate, acute. The flowers are lilac or pale-rose colour, in groups, axillary, the outer sepals linear to lance-shaped, shorter than the inner, which are stellately hairy, and ovate to narrow-pointed. The petals are 2 or 3 times as long as the calyx. The flower-stalks are bent-down. The fruit is downy. The carpels are downy, with smooth, rounded margins, the contiguous sides straight. The plant is 6-18 in. in height, flowering from June to September, and is a herbaceous perennial.
This is an escape from gardens, and a weed of cultivation or of waste ground. It has very short flower-stalks. The inner sepals are ovate to acute, accrescent. The petals are little longer than the calyx. The carpels are smooth, without hairs, the edges square.
The habitat of this plant is waste places. The stem is prostrate. The outer sepals are as long as the inner, which are smooth but fringed with hairs. The petals are scarcely longer than the calyx. The adjacent carpels meet with a toothed edge, and are margined, netted, rugose, with short hairs. The axis of the fruit is half as long as in M. rotundifolia. The plant is 6-18 in. in height, flowering from June to September, and is a herbaceous annual.
This is a weed of cultivation introduced with grain into this country. The plant has short flower-stalks, and broadly ovate to blunt-pointed, accrescent, inner sepals. The petals are little longer than the calyx. The carpels are hairy, transversely rugose, with distinctly winged edges.