Hollyhocks were a common garden flower when I was a child. Then they went out of fashion.
They represent nostalgia for me. I love the way they stand tall and straight with beautiful flowers growing the length their huge stalks.
In recent years I have again noticed them in suburban gardens.
A cottage garden staple, hollyhocks bloom mid-summer with numerous flowers on tall spikes. . The flower stalks on hollyhocks can reach heights of 2.5 m tall.
Hollyhock plants are thought to be originally native to East Asia, where they have roots in ancient Japanese culture.
The plants were used to make a salve that was very good for the Crusaders’ horses which were injured on their hind legs, or “hocks.” This is almost definitely where the name comes from – holly, as in holy (as in Holy Land) and hock, as in the part of the horse the plant was used to treat.
The flower represents fertility and fruitfulness. During the end of its life cycle when the leaves and stem begins to droop, the hollyhock produces a round disk that encompasses many different seeds so that it can reproduce. They also attract pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds
Hollyhocks are part of the Mallow family, a strange and disjointed branch of the plant world that contains okra, cotton, hibiscus, and marshmallow.