It had been ten years since I last knowingly encountered Iliamna rivularis, so it was a highlight for me at last weekend’s Botany British Columbia gathering in Rossland.
Iliamna rivularis is also known as streambank globe-mallow, wild hollyhock, and mountain hollyhock. At 2m tall (6 ft.), it is the tallest native member of the mallow family within British Columbia. I have a certain affinity for plants where you don’t have to bend down to take photographs of the flowers, an affection that seemingly increases as I age.
Eight species of Iliamna are recognized, all within USA and Canada. Mountain hollyhock has the broadest distribution, growing within the mountainous west of the two countries. This species was formerly blue-listed within British Columbia (roughly meaning that it was on a conservation watch list), but additional data have elevated it to yellow-listed–of no immediate conservation concern. Other members of the genus, such as Iliamna corei, are critically-endangered and known only from a single locality.