Common Name: Hollyhock
Scientific Name: Alcea Rosea
Seed Saving Level: Advanced - insect-pollinated, can cross-pollinate
Planting: Soak overnight. Scatter seeds thinly and cover with a 1/4-inch layer of soil. They do not transplant well.
Harvesting: Hollyhocks are well known for tall flower spikes that carry plenty of five-petal flowers in summer. Blooms April through June.
Seed Saving: Let the petals drop naturally as the seeds mature on the plant. The flower is replaced with a plump green disk, which matures into a brown fruit, and the top of the pod opens to reveal a stacked ring of seeds that are flat, oval and notched on one side. If the fruits are left in place, plants will self-sow. For seed saving, remove the pods and let them dry for a few weeks on paper, then pull back the top of the pod and pick out the seeds with your fingers. Alternatively, rub fruits to separate seeds, winnowing to remove chaff. Place seeds on paper for another week to dry.