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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 6 | Malvaceae

38. Malvella Jaubert & Spach, Ill. Pl. Orient. 5: 47, plate 444. 1855.

Alkali mallow [generic name Malva and Latin -ella, diminutive] Alkali mallow [generic name Malva and Latin -ella, diminutive]

Paul A. Fryxell

Steven R. Hill

Disella Greene

Herbs, perennial. Stems prostrate, with stellate and lepidote pubescence, not viscid. Leaves alternate and distichous; stipules persistent, subulate, 3–5 mm; blade asymmetric basally, [± flabellate], reniform, or ovate to triangular, not dissected or parted, base asymmetric, margins dentate, serrate, or entire, surfaces stellate or lepidote. Inflorescences axillary solitary flowers; involucel present or absent, bractlets 0–3, persistent or caducous, distinct. Flowers: calyx not accrescent, not inflated, lobes unribbed, ovate or cordate, stellate or lepidote; corolla whitish or pale yellow, sometimes with pink flush or fading pale rose; staminal column included; style 7–10-branched; stigmas capitate. Fruits schizocarps, erect, not inflated, oblate, not indurate, minutely hairy; mericarps 7–10, 1-celled, dorsally rounded, essentially unornamented, lateral walls persistent, essentially indehiscent. Seeds 1 per mericarp, glabrous. x = probably 16.

Species 4 (3 in the flora): United States, Mexico, South America (Peru to Uruguay), Europe, Asia (Asia Minor).

1 Leaf blades wider than long, ± reniform, apex obtuse or subacute, indument predominantly stellate; involucellar bractlets usually 3, sometimes 0; calyx lobes ovate, bases not overlapping.   2 Malvella leprosa
+ Leaf blades longer than wide, ovate to triangular, apex acute, indument ± silvery-lepidote; involucellar bractlets usually 0, rarely present; calyx lobes ± cordate, bases plicate-overlapping   (2)
2 (1) Leaf blades ± triangular, length 1–2(–3) times width, margins irregularly dentate, surfaces often with at least some stellate hairs mixed with silvery scales.   1 Malvella lepidota
+ Leaf blades narrowly triangular, length 3–5(–6) times width, margins hastate-toothed at base, surfaces silvery-lepidote.   3 Malvella sagittifolia

Lower Taxa


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