About Kankakee Mallow: Kankakee Mallow belongs to the genus of flowers known as wild hollyhocks. In 1872, an Illinois resident named Rev. E. J. Hill discovered this lovely flower growing wild on the northern coast of Langham Island in Kankakee County, Illinois. To protect the now endangered plant, this area was turned into an official Nature Preserve in 1966. This species has become known as one of the rarest wildflowers in America, and has not been found growing wild anywhere else in the world.
Kankakee Mallow Germination: To help speed germination, pour 180F water over the seed and let it soak overnight. The next day, mix the seed with moist sand and store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 60 days before planting. Sow the seed in individual peat pots, lightly covering it with a thin layer of soil; keep the soil consistently moist and at a temperature of 70-75 degrees F until germination, which should occur within 14-20 days. Thin the seedlings to the strongest two per pot, and transplant them outdoors when the weather has warmed and there is no chance of frost.
Growing Kankakee Mallow Seeds: Keep seedlings watered until they become established; mature plants also produce the healthiest growth with regular moisture, though well-drained soil is best to prevent disease. This plant tolerates heat and humidity well. Protection may be needed from deer and other small animals, since they love to eat the foliage.
Harvesting Kankakee Mallow: For fresh flowers, cut long stems of flowers that have just opened and place them in water immediately; strip the leaves that will fall below the water.
Saving Kankakee Mallow Seeds: Because of its rarity, seed from this plant should never be gathered from the wild. After flowering, this plant will produce pods that contain mature brown seed. Remove the pods individually as they ripen, and spread them out to dry; lightly thresh them to split open the pods and reveal the seed. Separate the cleaned seed from the husks, and store the seed in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Kankakee Mallow Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Streambank Wild Hollyhock, Kankakee Globe-Mallow Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Fall Height: 36-60 inches Spacing: 15-18 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 4a-6b Seeds Per Oz: 12,000 Produces a plant with divided, fuzzy 6” maple-like leaves and 2-2½" five-petaled aromatic pink flowers that fade to white in the center.