Gettin’ the Good Stuff

On a cloudy, not-too-windy morning, I strolled through my front garden, stopping to admire one of my Globe Mallow, Sphaeralcea ambigua, shrubs. Its soft silver-green ruffly foliage, paired with the stunning dreamsicle orange blooms melts my gardener’s heart.

Out of the corner of my eye, I glimpsed a streak of movement, though it took a minute or so for me to see it again, catching sight once the flash landed. It was a zippy thing, this flash, not lingering on any surface–until it did. The mystery critter proved to be a Green Sweat Bee, Halictidae, and was all in with the luscious mallow blooms.

I was pleased to see this bee at the mallow, though not surprised: this plant attracts a wide variety of pollinators. I now have enough areas of full sun for this gorgeous native North American plant to grow it in several areas of my garden.

Go get the good stuff, little bee!

16 thoughts on “Gettin’ the Good Stuff

  1. Seeing this reminded me of seeing the woolly globe mallow down at the Rockport cemetery; it’s the only place I’ve ever found it. Remembering it, I called the person who’s been my contact for the Rockport cemetery, and asked how their wildflowers were coming along. Believe it or not, they said that the peak bloom had been THREE weeks ago, and that the majority of the plants have faded and are setting seed now. On the one hand, I was devastated that I’ll miss it this year. On the other hand, at least I don’t have to worry about how to fit a trip to Rockport into my schedule.

    And I have a note in next year’s calendar to call the nice people in March!


  2. Your mallow reminds me of this orange horned poppy I adore. That hot orange against those cool, silvery leaves is so special. And, the addition of that shiny green bee made for a stellar photo op. It almost looks like it’s resting in that last photo. Like a little Thumbelina!


  3. And so now I have “mallow-envy”. If I was emotionally mature I’d simply celebrate your good fortune with it and enjoy your amazing photos. I tried to both transplant and get seed started when we moved from the Austin area out into the Hill Country but it was early August and conditions weren’t favorable. Making a mental note now to search online for seeds – they are so gorgeous!


    • Update: Found a native seed source – an outfit in Tucson – seed packets on the way. Trowels crossed for my own patch of globe mallow by this time next year! Thanks for the motivation, Tina!


      • Well good for you. I think you mentioned that your daughter is a gifted seed person, so you may have scads of these by next fall. You’ll need to send me pics when you get them going! Fun!!


    • It’s such a gorgeous plant. Do you have a local nursery near you? Or do you occasionally go to BSN or Natural Gardener (I don’t know if they carry this one, as I rarely go there.) It might be worth your while to call BSN to see if you can get on a wait list. They’ve mentioned to me that it’s usually summer when they get most of these plants, not an optimal time to plant, but you go with what you’ve got, I guess. I also don’t recall if they’re deer resistant, but that’d be on the LBJWC site.


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