ColtsFan
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Can I get an ID on this flower

I feel foolish because I should be able to figure this out, I know the pics are bad (they were taken on a camera phone, sorry) They are quite tall, probably 3.5 to 4 foot and the blooms are large as well, hope someone can help as these are just stunning.

[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v477/ElvisFan/0621091118a.jpg[/img]

[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v477/ElvisFan/0621091119a.jpg[/img]

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Kisal
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Those are hollyhocks (Alcea rosea). :)

ColtsFan
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Thanks!! I wanted those years ago and forgot what they looked like, now I really feel stupid. They are perennials, right?

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Kisal
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If I recall correctly, some types of hollyhocks are biennial, and others are perennial, so be sure to find out when you go to buy them.

You might want to use Google to determine which varieties are perennial, so you'll have an idea of what to look for when you go shopping. :)

cynthia_h
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Just to confuse the matter, some hollyhocks will reseed year after year. So the individual plant isn't necessarily perennial, but there will be hollyhocks year after year...

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

ColtsFan
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Well many thanks to both of you, I'll check on the biennial and perennial thing at the nursery and it's good to know if I screw up there is still a chance of them returning each year. I love those enormous blooms and the rich deep colors :)

cynthia_h
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"Hollyhock" was the first flower whose name I ever knew as a little girl. We lived in Cheyenne then, and our neighbors--we all lived on base at Warren AFB--just threw seeds in the ground and hoped real hard every Memorial Day.

I think I was in 2nd or 3rd grade before I knew "rose" or "zinnia." But "hollyhock" has been in at the ground level on flower ID for a long time... :D

Cynthia

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Kisal
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When I was a child, my grandmother taught me to pick a hollyhock flower, then catch a firefly and put it inside the blossom. She showed me how to gather the petals together at the top and hold them shut, creating a colorful little lantern. Fond memories of long ago summers. :)

ColtsFan
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Those are great stories, the lost old days of a better simple life. Proving once again that flowers are forever, not diamonds :)

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applestar
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Kisal, now I wish I had hollyhocks in my garden! :cool: Just last night, my kids were catching fireflies at my MIL's house. Well, one of the neighbors has some, maybe she'll let us have some flowers....

The Helpful Gardener
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Watched fireflies at MILS house last night myself... :D

But are [url=https://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2008-09-02-firefly-population-endangered_N.htm]fireflies in trouble?[/url]

And [url=https://www.firefly.org/certify-your-backyard-as-wildlife-habitat.html]what can we do about that?[/url]

My yard is still got some; how about yours?

MIL's hollyhocks volunteered again this year despite no plantings at all this spring; she didn't even save the seed as she usually does, so next year might be blank for flowers... but not likely to dissappear... :)

HG

HG
Scott Reil

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Kisal
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No fireflies in Oregon, at least that I've seen in the 40 years I've lived here. I miss them. :(

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rainbowgardener
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firefly population

Oh dear... You know I hadn't really paid much attention, but now that you bring it up, it does seem like we have a lot fewer fireflies than we used to. I've been thinking it was just because of the rain.

I hadn't heard this before, so I will watch out more now.

I looked up their habitat to think about could I provide better for them and discovered something else I didn't know -- firefly larvae are said to eat slugs and snails! (oops obviously I hadn't read Scott's links yet! :oops: ) Fireflies need some standing water, even if just a little, could be one more reason they are having trouble, since we are all busy eradicating standing water due to mosquitoes. For the larvae they also like rotting wood or forest litter. For the adults they like long grass:

"Fireflies also love long grass. They’re nocturnal, and during the day they spend most of their time on the ground. At night, they crawl to the tops of blades of grass and fly into tree branches to signal for mates. Long grass conceals the fireflies better and allows them a better vantage point for signaling at night, and over-mowing your lawn may disturb your firefly population." https://www.firefly.org/firefly-habitat.html

The grass and all the rest would have to be without chemicals of course.
No wonder they are declining. I have the forest litter and I have (unfortunately) tons of standing water with a big pond at the bottom of my hillside, but I'll have to think about whether there's somewhere I can leave a bit of grass for the fireflies.

The Helpful Gardener
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Yes'm, yet another good reason for leaving the gfrass long... (besides less watering, more roots, and more photosynthesis; the grass likes it more than the fireflies do...

HG
Scott Reil



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