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Lavatera cretica - Small Tree Mallow - Cretan Mallow

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Malvales - Family: Malvaceae

Lavatera cretica - Cretan Mallow

This annual or biennial lavatera with pale pink or whitish flowers appears in the Algarve from April and is one of the few wildflowers of the Iberian Peninsula and Mediterranean region to survive the heat past May; Cretan Mallow can often be seen well into June, which may be due to its ability to form deep roots that gain access to what little water remains in the soil once the summer temperatures soar. This member of the Mallow (Malvaceae) family of plants occurs mainly on cultivated and disturbed ground and can be found throughout the Mediterranean region along waysides and in waste ground.

Cretan Mallow is also native to Britain, where is rare.

This specimen was photographed near the coast in the Algarve in Portugal in May.


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