Sometimes envisioning native plants in the home garden or landscape takes some imagination. That’s the case with Sphaeralcea coccinea, also called Desert Mallow, Cowboy’s Delight, and Scarlet Globemallow. This hardy little plant grows along gravel roads, in highway rights of way, and some of the driest habitats Wyoming has to offer, and folks, that is dry!
The reason I think Scarlet Globemallow requires some imagination, is that it is often found in dry and dusty places which can mask the intensity of its deep orange to salmon colored blooms, but think about this flower blooming against a back drop of purple or blue and you can begin to realize its potential to bring a unique color to your garden and landscaping efforts.
Sphaeralcea grows to 4-8 inches high and creates a nice patch of ground cover. Plant the fresh seed in the fall or spring along the edges of a sunny slope or rock garden. I think it would look great planted en mass next to a natural walkway of pavers where it could create a transition from super low growers between the pavers into a mid height flower bed.
Think I’ll try it next spring mixed in with the white and grey of Snow in Summer.