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Steven R. Hill, except as noted

Annual to tree; generally with stellate hairs, often with bristles or peltate scales; juice generally mucilage-like; bark fibrous. Leaf: generally cauline, alternate, petioled, simple [palmate-compound], generally palmate-lobed and/or veined, generally toothed, evergreen or not; stipules persistent or not. Inflorescence: head, spike, raceme, or panicle, in panicle or not (a compound panicle), or flowers >= 1 in leaf axils, or flowers generally 1 opposite a leaf or on a spur; bracts leaf-like or not; bractlets 0 or on flowering stalks, often closely subtending calyx, generally in involucel. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; sepals 5, generally fused at base, abutting in bud, larger in fruit or not, nectaries as tufts of glandular hairs at base; petals (0)5, free from each other but generally fused at base to, falling with filament tube, clawed or not; stamens 5–many, filaments fused for most of length into tube around style, staminodes 5, alternate stamens, or generally 0; pistil 1, ovary superior, stalked or generally not, chambers generally >= 5, styles or style branches, stigmas generally 1 or 1–2 × chamber number. Fruit: loculicidal capsule, [berry], or 5–many, disk- or wedge-shaped segments (= mericarps).
266 genera, 4025 species: worldwide, especially warm regions; some cultivated (e.g., Abelmoschus okra; Alcea hollyhock; Gossypium cotton; Hibiscus hibiscus). [Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 1998 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 85:531–553] Recently treated to include Bombacaceae, Sterculiaceae, Tiliaceae. Mature fruit needed for identification; "outer edges" are surfaces between sides and back (abaxial surface) of segment. "Flower stalk" used instead of "pedicel," "peduncle," especially where both needed (i.e., when flowers both 1 in leaf axils and otherwise). —Scientific Editors: Steven R. Hill, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Alverson et al. 1999 Amer J Bot 86:1474–1486; Bayer et al. 1999 Bot J Linn Soc 129:267–303; Hill 2009 Madroño 56:104–111]

Key to Malvaceae

(Annual) perennial herb; hairs stellate or scale-like. Stem: prostrate to decumbent. Leaf: blade generally asymmetric, generally silvery-stellate-hairy. Inflorescence: flowers 1 in leaf axils; flower stalk ± jointed at tip, generally recurved in fruit. Flower: calyx lobes ± = tube, ovate or cordate; petals stellate-hairy in bud, cream-white to yellow generally fading to rose-pink; filament tube glabrous, anthers at tip; styles 7–10, stigmas head-like. Fruit: segments generally 7–10, indehiscent, beak 0. Seed: 1 per segment, glabrous.
4 species: America, Mediterranean, introduced elsewhere. (Greek, Latin: small mallow)
Unabridged references: [Fryxell 1988 Syst Bot Monogr 25:298–302]

M. leprosa (Ortega) Krapov. ALKALI-MALLOW, WHITE-WEED
Annual, perennial herb. Stem: decumbent, 1–4 dm, densely white-stellate-hairy; some hairs bristly, some scale-like. Leaf: blade 1–3.5 cm, reniform to triangular, densely white-stellate-hairy, base asymmetric, margin toothed, wavy. Inflorescence: flower stalk ± = subtending petiole; bractlets (0)3, thread-like, generally deciduous. Flower: calyx 6–10 mm, divided 1/2, generally pink or pink-dotted abaxially, hairs as on stem; petals 10–15 mm, cream-white to yellow, occasionally with rose tint; styles 7–10, > filament tube. Fruit: ± 7 mm diam; segments 7–10, 3 mm, minutely puberulent on back, generally net-veined on sides.
2n=22,32. Valleys, generally saline; < 1500(2500) m. California (especially Great Central Valley); to Washington, Idaho, Texas, Mexico, southern South America; Australia (introduced). [Sida leprosa (Ortega) K. Schum. var. hederacea (Douglas) K. Schum.] Reported to be TOXIC to sheep, perhaps other livestock. Agricultural weed, especially in orchards. Apr–Nov [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Malvella, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Malvella leprosa Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.