Hollyhocks are one of our most ancient flower steeped in folklore. The Neanderthals were burying their dead along with Hollyhocks 50,000 years ago.
In China, they were grown both ornamentally, as well as to eat. The Romans ate Hollyhocks as well, a practice which continues to this day.
Fairies love Hollyhocks, hence seeing them in skirts made of the blossoms in old artwork. In fact, there’s a wealth of folklore regarding Hollyhocks and the fairy folk.
My own luck with them is hit and miss. Last year I had a gorgeous white one, which came up for a couple years then died off. This one has been around three or four years I believe. They come in lovely colors, and whilst the white one was more showy, I love the dark red, almost black version the most.