Lavatera cretica

Range & Status

Native; an annual, to short-lived perennial, Mediterranean-Atlantic plant. It is at the edge of its range in the British Isles, limited by climate, with a scatter of records across southern England, plus populations in the Channel Islands, Isles of Scilly and West Cornwall.

Regional Distribution

Frequent on the Isles of Scilly, on all the inhabited islands but especially St. Mary' s (SV91) and St. Agnes (SV80). Sporadic in Cornwall: it has been known along the foreshore between Penzance (SW43) and Long Rock (SW53) since 1877, lasting until 1993, when a man-made barrier, constructed as a protection against storms and high seas, buried the population. Plants have since re-appeared (2005) at Chyandour (SW43), along a length of pavement within a mile of the original site.

Habitat & Ecology

Waste places, roadsides, cultivated fields, foreshores. It is part of the weed flora of the Isles of Scilly.


A marginal species, therefore easily lost as a result of changes in bulb-field and shore-line management. Verge clearance at the Chyandour site, in 2006, destroyed some plants.