from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A tall plant (Alcea rosea) native to the Middle East and widely cultivated for its showy clusters of very large, variously colored flowers. Also called althea.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several flowering plants of the genus Alcea in the Malvaceae family.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A species of Althæa (Althæa rosea), bearing flowers of various colors; -- called also rose mallow.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A plant, Althea rosea, of the natural order Malvaceæ.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of various tall plants of the genus Alcea; native to the Middle East but widely naturalized and cultivated for its very large variously colored flowers
  • n. any of various plants of the genus Althaea; similar to but having smaller flowers than genus Alcea


Middle English holihocke, marsh mallow : holi, holy; see holy + hoc, mallow (from Old English).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
holly +‎ hock (Wiktionary)



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  • All the names I know from nurse:
    Gardener's garters, shepherd's purse:
    Bachelor's buttons, lady's smock,
    And the lady hollyhock.

    - Robert Louis Stevenson, 'The Flowers'.

    November 12, 2008