Lavatera bicolor, also known as Malva subovata subsp. bicolor, is an excellent background shrub for dry perennial beds, mixed shrub borders, or on banks or slopes. The pale lilac-colored, hibiscus-like flowers with violet centers bloom profusely spring through summer. The maple-shaped, gray-green leaves complement the colorful blooms. This Mediterranean shrub is large, rangy and irregular but can be clipped or sheared for a more formal or dense shape.