Henderson’s checker-mallow, Sidalcea hendersonii, is a somewhat uncommon Pacific Northwest native plant. In its natural home you’ll find it just above the high tide line in coastal environments where it tolerates being periodically inundated with salt water. However, it’s quite happy in a garden setting.
We got a start of this beautiful plant a few years ago from a Seattle-area gardener who is much better at growing perennials from seed than I am. We brought it home and had it in our former downtown Bellingham garden before we moved to the country. It’s now growing very successfully in one of our perennial beds as pictured above. We’ve also planted it in the somewhat wet area down by the road in front of the house.
Our garden includes a mix of native and non-native plants. We mix and match to our heart’s content, choosing things that please us or that we think look interesting. Sidalcea hendersonii is definitely one of those striking choices, with the added bonus that it looks good longer than many other native perennials.