Anisodontea julii

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Botanical Name
Anisodontea julii
Malvaceae - The hibiscus and cotton family.
an-iss-oh-DON-tee-uh JOO-lee-eye
Common Name(s)
English: Mountain mallow; African mallow
Afrikaans: Bergroos
Plant Group
  • Bulb / Corm / Rhizome / Tuber / Epigeal bulb Bulbs: are made up of fleshy scales as in an onion Corm: a short, swollen, underground stem that is hard and not fleshy as in a gladiolus Tuber: a solid, fleshy, underground, storage organ as in a potato Rhizome: an underground, horizontal, swollen stem at the base of the plant as in an iris Epigeal bulb: bulbs that rest above the ground with only the roots anchoring the plant to the earth as in albuca
  • Shrub A woody plant of relatively low height, having several stems arising from the base and lacking a single trunk; a bush.
Plant Size
  • Medium
    Tree10m to 16m
    Shrub1m to 2m
    Perennial/ground cover40cm to 60cm
    Bulb40cm to 60cm
    Succulent40cm to 60cm
  • Partial Shade The area is in shade for part of the day and in full sun for part of the day.
  • Sun The area is in full sun for all or most of the day, all year round.
General Information
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate The plant is moderately adapted to arid conditions and can survive short periods of drought and high temperatures without extra water.
  • Evergreen Plants that have leaves all year round.
  • Frost: Hardy The plant can withstand freezing temperatures or frost without artificial protection.
  • Prune hard after flowering Fast growing shrubs that grow lanky within a season. Cut off branches and stems of these plants to a third of their original length. This will increase the yield of flowers, improve the plants shape and enhance the structural strength of main branches.
  • Water Moderate These plants will need some extra watering compared to water-wise plants. Plant them together, in at least some shade and in a convenient proximity to the house so that grey water can be utilised during times of drought.
Specific Information

Anisodontea julii is a very fast growing shrub with velvety, deeply lobed leaves with serrated edges. It forms an upright, graceful shrub and flowers in its first year. It grows equally well in both summer and winter rainfall areas. Although frost hardy, in its natural habitat it grows among boulders and scrub, where it is protected from the worst frosts. In the garden the Mountain mallow will grow bigger than it does in the wild, often growing to its full height in its first season. The peak flowering time is in summer but in milder climates it may flower through most of the year.

An ideal shrub for pioneer planting in new gardens or for creating a quick screen or informal hedge, with a life-span of about five years. Very useful for filling an empty space and for adding colour to shrub borders and boundaries.

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hibiscus-like, with 5 rounded petals up to 40 mm in diameter

  • All Year Plants will seldom bloom for the entire season as given in the list, but should flower during a period within these parameters.
  • Summer Plants will seldom bloom for the entire season as given in the list, but should flower during a period within these parameters.
  • pink
Growth Rate
  • Very Fast Specifying growth rate can be very misleading as there is considerable variation of growth rate depending on type and species of plant, available water, supplementary feeding, mulching and general care, as well as the plants suitability and adaptability to the garden environment.
Plant Uses
  • Attracts bees, butterflies or other insects This plant attracts insects which can be food for birds or other creatures in your garden.
  • Border A strip of ground, at the edge of a driveway or path in which ornamental plants or shrubs are planted.
  • Boundary A plant useful for planting around the edges of the property to form a green or colourful backdrop, an impenetrable hedge, to hide walls or create privacy.
  • Container Trees, shrubs and ornamental species that can adapt to growing in a restricted environment.
  • Filler Either a fast growing tree or shrub used temporarily to fill in an area while the permanent plants grow to a desired size, or a plant used to fill gaps in borders or beds.
  • Hedge Suitable trees or shrubs planted relatively close together so that the branches intertwine to create a barrier. This can be formal – the plants are regularly trimmed to produce a neat shape, or informal – the plants are left to themselves to create a natural hedgerow.
  • Pioneer for new gardens A very fast growing plant, able to withstand hardship, that can be used to populate land that has recently been cleared of natural vegetation. These plants pave the way for slower-growing species by adding nutrients to the soil and creating leaf litter.
  • Screen A tall hedge of suitable plants planted closely together and used as a windbreak, to block a bad view, to separate parts of the garden or as a backdrop.
  • Suitable for coastal gardens Plants adapted to dry, sandy soil, forceful wind, limited rainfall and intense sunlight.
  • Wild Garden An indigenous garden planted for the benefit of wildlife and birds. Provides food, water, a variety of mini-biomes and no poisonous chemicals are used.
Distribution and Habitat

in the Eastern Cape, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal, as well as Lesotho, on the slopes of the Drakensberg Mountains, in evergreen scrub, often amongst boulders and rocks

Planting Suggestions

Plant Anisodontea julii in full sun or partial shade in any soil, but for better results add compost, mulch well and water occasionally. Prune back about a third or more in autumn to keep the shrub neat and pinch out the growing tips to encourage bushiness. It grows easily from cuttings. In favourable conditions it will seed itself and the roots may produce suckers.


Medicinal Uses

No data found.

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