Plant of the Week
Streambank Wild Hollyhock (Iliamna rivularis) (Dougl. Ex Hook.) Greene
By Teresa Prendusi
Wild hollyhock is a large perennial forb belonging to the "mallow" or Malvaceae family. This stunning species has 24-80 inch stems with large showy white to pink flowers growing in a loose terminal cluster (raceme). Iliamna rivularis is found in open forested slopes, meadows, and disturbed areas, in a variety of plant communities between 7,000 – 11,000 feet. The species name "rivularis" refers to its site characteristic of often being found along streamsides.
Wild hollyhock is a shade-intolerant plant, which flowers very profusely following disturbances such as wildfire. It quickly is eliminated from post-fire communities, however, once it becomes overtopped by other vegetation. Germination takes place in full sun and seeds can remain dormant viable for more than a century.
Wild hollyhock is highly preferred by livestock, as well as elk and mule deer and other wildlife in recently burned habitats.