Woody cultivars of Lavatera

RHS project team
Mike Grant and Diana Miller
Dr Alastair Culham (Reading University)
Start date
01/02/1999 09:49:49
End date
01/02/2000 09:49:54
The problem

Various cultivars of shrubby mallow had been confusingly attributed to either L. olbia or L. thuringiaca, with suggestions that they might be hybrids.


For the study, species of wild origin were obtained and artificial hybrids were raised. Cultivars were also obtained from the originators. RAPD analysis was performed to assign parental origin of the cultivars. This was compared with morphological assessments of all the taxa.


To establish their identity.

Benefits to gardeners

This research will help to bring stability to the names of these Lavatera.

Summary of results

Results show that the majority of the cultivars are intermediate between L. olbia and L. thuringiaca, suggesting hybrid status, and can be assigned to L. x clementii. A few cultivars were attributable to one or other of the species alone. It was not possible to discriminate between all recognisable cultivars using RAPD analysis.

Further information

Initial results were presented at an International Symposium under the aegis of the Commission of Biotechnology of ISHS, Molecular Markers for characterizing genotypes and identifying cultivars in horticulture, at AGRO Montpellier, France, during 6-8 March 2000.

Grant M, Miller D & A Culham (2001). Genetic and morphological analysis of the origin and identity of perennial Lavatera (Malvaceae) cultivars. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 125(5): 593-598.

Read the full account on the ASHS website

Grant M & A Culham (1997). DNA fingerprinting and the identification of ornamental cultivars. The New Plantsman 4(2): 85-87.

Grant M & A Culham (1997). DNA fingerprinting and the identification of ornamental cultivars, part 2. The New Plantsman 4(3): 157-168.

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