Hollyhocks are old garden favorites dating as far back as the 1500s in Britain. They are also known as Alcea rosea and are members of the Malvaceae family alongside other popular plants such as Mallows and Hibiscus! They have a wide USDA range (zones 2-10) and are classified as short-lived perennials or biennials.
They are originally from China, Pakistan, and India but today are grown worldwide! Their common name “hollyhock” is speculated to have been derived from the combination of the word holy (referring to the Holy Land in Palestine) and the Anglo-Saxon word “hoc”. Their popularity is long-standing; former U.S. president, Thomas Jefferson himself, used to grow hollyhock plants in his Monticello home in the 1700s!
Their popularity has led to many cultivars being developed, including more modern varieties which are shaking up the idea of hollyhock flowers as old-fashioned cottage plants. The numerous cultivars come in single or double forms, or sometimes a combination of both.
Colors include white, pink, red, orange, yellow, purple, and many attractive combinations. Single-flowered hollyhocks are fantastic for attracting pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds into the garden.
Plant hollyhock flowers in cottage-style gardens, along fences and walls, or use dwarf varieties for container planting to brighten up patio gardens!
Beautiful Hollyhock Varieties You Should Know About
Banana is a lovely hollyhock variety that produces numerous powder-puff blooms ideal for cut flowers! Growing up to 6.5 feet high, this hardy perennial has fully double, extremely ruffled flowers that are a soft yellow color.
#2 Black Knight
This dramatic plant is hollyhock rust-resistant and a part of the Spotlight series. It has single blooms that grow 4 inches wide and may reach heights of between 5 and 6 feet. The funnel-shaped flowers are a deep purple, almost black, with sunshine yellow throats. Grow this variety at the back of a border for added height, or along a garden fence!
#3 Chater’s Chestnut Brown
Chater’s Chestnut Brown has a lovely and unusual color, making it a truly unique hollyhock variety! Fully double blooms may be 4-6 inches wide, and are mahogany brown, with densely packed, highly ruffled petals. Plants will reach an impressive 5-7 feet in height and would make an unusual and striking centerpiece in any garden.
#4 Chater’s Double Pink
Extremely eye-catching, Chater’s Double Pink produces densely packed racemes of wonderful raspberry pink flowers. Blooms have a fully double form with numerous, elegantly ruffled petals. Reaching as tall as 6 feet, this hollyhock variety can be a little leggy with a 1-foot clearance from the ground. Pair it with low-lying plants in front such as geraniums, to cover the gap in the foliage.
#5 Chater’s Double Red
This bold hollyhock flower has vivid scarlet blooms that grow as wide as 5 inches. Flowers are fully doubled with densely packed, frilly petals. This variety may reach 6 feet, with a 1-foot clearance from the ground. Its bright flowers contrast with the gray-green foliage, and it is a perfect choice for cottage-style gardens.
#6 Chater’s Double Salmon
A delightful hollyhock plant, Chater’s Double Salmon is the perfect candidate for a cottage-style garden! Pair it with other light-colored plants such as white peonies, or pink foxgloves for a breathtaking display! It is a tall variety growing up to 8 feet tall, with large, elegantly ruffled, double flowers. Blooms are salmon-pink often flushed with raspberry pink.
#7 Creme de Cassis
Creme de Cassis is a hollyhock variety that will bloom in its first year. This plant produces wonderful single, semi-double, and fully double flowers on its tall spikes. Reaching between 6 and 8 feet, this is a fantastic variety for growing along fences and garden walls. Blooms are 3 inches across and are a rich wine color, with paler purple-pink edges and wine color veining. When visible, throats are buttery yellow.
#8 Dwarf Fiesta Time
Dwarf Fiesta Time is a dwarf hollyhock growing only 3 feet high, and is a great choice for container planting! Fully double blooms are dark pink, with pale pink, fringed petal edges. This variety also looks wonderful in meadow-style gardens.
#9 Queeny Purple
Another fantastic dwarf variety, this plant is extremely compact reaching a maximum height of 30 inches! Double blooms have fringed edges, with a powder puff, pincushion center. Flowers are soft purple with marginally lighter petal edges. This is the optimum hollyhock for container planting, and would surely brighten up any patio garden!
#10 Halo Apricot
Part of the Halo series, Halo Apricot has single, 4-5-inch blooms that are attractive to bees and butterflies. This hollyhock plant can reach as tall as 8 feet! Flowers have a soft apricot color that fades to pink before reaching the wine-colored center. If started early, these plants will flower in their first year! They are rust-resistant and look stunning in cottage gardens.
#11 Halo Blush
A must-have in any cottage-style garden, Halo Blush is a delightful hollyhock flower. Its single blossoms are extremely attractive to pollinators and look fantastic when paired with other cottage garden favorites such as foxgloves or delphiniums. Blooms are white, fading to deep pink centers with soft yellow throats. They may reach up to 6 feet high.
#12 Halo Cerise
Halo Cerise produces beautiful single flowers that contrast nicely with its rich green foliage. Blooms are cerise pink with dark purple centers. This hollyhock flower is a candidate for pollinator gardens, and plants may reach 6 feet high.
#13 Halo Lavender
This stunning hollyhock variety has racemes packed with beautiful purple flowers. Single blooms are rich violet with a deep raspberry center, and white central eye and anthers. This plant may grow to 6 feet tall and will make wonderful cut flowers. Grow Halo Lavender along cottage-garden fences or walls for an eye-catching display!
#14 Halo White
Halo White is another beautiful member of the Halo series and has attractive single flowers. Its blossoms are white, with contrasting central yellow throats. This hollyhock variety reaches 6 feet tall and would look at home in a cottage-style garden. Crystalize its flowers to make a unique cake decoration!
#15 Henry VIII Lemon
This cheery hollyhock plant has wonderful lemon yellow flowers! Single blooms have delicately waved petal edges, and yellow-colored petals, throats, and anthers! Plants may grow as tall as 8 feet and are the perfect variety to grow along fences or walls.
#16 Henry VIII Pink
Henry VIII will tower above the garden at 8 feet tall and is a great hollyhock to bring height to cottage-style garden beds. Its single blooms will attract bees, butterflies, and even hummingbirds into the garden. Blossoms are raspberry pink, gradually growing darker towards the center, with pale yellow central eyes and anthers.
#17 Henry VIII Red
This elegant and bold hollyhock plant can grow up to 8 feet high. It has extremely large single blooms that reach as wide as 6 inches. Blooms are bright red, with velvety, deep red eyes and pale yellow anthers. Its flowers contrast nicely with the rich green foliage.
An heirloom variety, Nigra is a hollyhock flower that was grown by Thomas Jefferson himself in the gardens of Monticello! Growing between 6 and 8 feet, this plant produces racemes packed with large, saucer-like blooms. Flowers are a deep red, yet appear almost black, with pale yellow anthers. These would look particularly striking when paired with red hollyhocks, such as Henry VIII Red, or Mars Magic.
#19 Majorette Double Champagne
This beautiful dwarf hollyhock is fantastic for container planting and makes a lovely addition to cottage-style or patio gardens! It grows between 30 and 36 inches and produces carnation-like flowers! Fully double blossoms are romantic blush pink, with highly frilled petal edges and a central powder puff pincushion. These plants make wonderful cut flowers due to their upright and sturdy stems.
#20 Mars Magic
Mars Magic is a spotlight series member and has vivid, 4-inch single flowers whose bright color draws in butterflies and hummingbirds. Funnel-shaped blooms are red with lemon yellow throats and gently waved petal edges. These wonderful hollyhock plants may reach 6 feet high and are great for tall borders.
#21 Peaches ‘n Dreams
A fully double hollyhock plant, Peaches ‘n Dreams has densely packed, extremely ruffled petals. Flowers are peachy pink, with a hint of soft raspberry pink closer to the center. Plants may grow as large as 6 feet, making them amazing candidates to be grown along fences in cottage-style gardens!
Part of the spotlight series, Polarstar is a relatively new hollyhock variety first introduced in 2010. Growing up to 6 feet in height, this variety will flower in its first year. Single form flowers have pure white petals with a yellow-green central eye. It will attract butterflies and hummingbirds into the garden, making it beneficial to pollinators.
#23 Radiant Rose
Radiant Rose is another spotlight series member, noted for its true perennial status. Funnel-shaped blooms may grow to 4 inches across and have a single form. Bright pink flowers fade to a dark pink central eye and throats are lemon yellow with pale yellow anthers. This hollyhock plant may reach heights of 4 to 5 feet. Grow them in cottage-style gardens, paired with peonies and foxgloves in various shades of pink for the most wonderful display!
#24 Summer Carnival Rosy Red
This hollyhock plant can grow up to 7 feet tall and has eye-catching 3-4 inch flowers. Blooms are fully double, with fringed edge petals and a densely packed central pincushion. Its bright red flowers look fantastic when grown alongside white hollyhocks such as Halo White.
#25 The Bride
A truly magnificent variety, The Bride has fully double, elegantly frilled blooms that make great cut flowers. Its delicate blossoms are soft white with an almost paper-like quality. The ruffled central pincushion is densely packed, giving just a little peek at the golden yellow anthers within. It grows up to 6.5 feet and would look sensational planted alongside peonies and other light-colored hollyhock flowers.
#26 Queeny Purple
Developed in Hungary, Queeny Purple is a Queeny series member that reaches a maximum of 30 inches high. This fantastic dwarf hollyhock variety is ideal for container planting or for planting along cottage-style garden borders! Flowers grow 4 inches wide and are fully doubled with fringed edges. The soft purple blooms have a central pincushion of densely packed petals. Put them in patio gardens for a pop of color!
~ image source: depositphotos/ivonnewierink