Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pancrace Bessa: Alcea rosea

This colored engraving of Alcea rosea after a painting by Pancrace Bessa appears in his Fleurs et Fruits (1808), the first publication containing illustrations only by him.

A few facts about Pancrace Bessa

A few facts about Alcea rosea
1. Its common name is hollyhock.
2. The plant is native to Asia Minor. It was imported to Europe before the 16th century.
3. A biennial, the plant puts out only leaves the first year and flowers in the second year.
4. This is a tall plant: four to eight feet.
5. Alcea rosea is vulnerable to rust, a fungus, which makes it an especially good plant to grow in dry places like my home of Colorado.


  1. Oh, these colors just make me happy. So pretty all mixed...the reds/pinks and blues/greens. Some of my favorites. :)