These dazzling flowering shrubs were originally found only on the Channel Islands off the southern California coast. Plants were brought to the mainland and cultivated as garden ornamentals or as windbreaks sometime during the 19th century. The species has since naturalized locally on the mainland and is reproducing on its own. This could have been anticipated since the environmental conditions are so similar between the California coast and the nearby islands. Whether related species of Lavatera ever existed on the mainland remains a mystery.
DISTRIBUTION: Rare along coastal bluffs on the Channel Islands; < 350 m.