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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

MALVACEAE

MALLOW FAMILY

Steven R. Hill, except as specified

Annual, perennial herb, shrubs, trees, generally stellate-hairy; juice sticky; inner bark tough, fibrous
Leaves alternate, simple, petioled; blade generally palmately veined or lobed, stipules present
Inflorescence often leafy; whorl or involucre of bractlets often subtending calyx
Flower generally bisexual, radial; calyx lobes 5, margins abutting in bud; petals 5, free (fused at base to filament tube, so falling together); stamens many, filaments fused into a tube surrounding style, tube fused in turn to petal bases; pistil 1, ovary superior, chambers generally 5 or more, style branches, stigmas generally 1 or 2 X as many as chambers
Fruit of 5–many disk- or wedge-shaped segments, loculicidal capsule, or berry
Genera in family: 100 genera, 2000 species: worldwide, especially warm regions; some cultivated (e.g., Abelmoschus , okra; Alcea ; Gossypium , cotton; Hibiscus , Malvaviscus )
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated to include Sterculiaceae [Angiosperm phylogeny Group 1998 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 85:531–553; Alverson et al. 1999 Amer J Bot 86:1474–1486; Bayer et al. 1999 Bot J Linn Soc 129:267–303]
Mature fruit important for identification.

HIBISCUS

ROSE-MALLOW, HIBISCUS

Annual, perennial herb, shrubs, trees
Inflorescence: flowers generally solitary in axils; bractlets subtending calyx 3–many, slender, persistent, forming an involucre
Flower generally showy; filament tube 5-toothed, anthers scattered on upper 1/2 below tip
Fruit: capsule; chambers 5
Seeds 2–many per chamber
Species in genus: 200 species: warm regions
Etymology: (Greek: name used by Dioscorides for marshmallow)
Reference: [Fryxell 1980 Techn Bull USDA 1624:1–53]

Native

H. lasiocarpus Cav.

ROSE-MALLOW

Perennial, generally clonal from rhizomes, hairy
Stems 10–20 dm, some prostrate
Leaf: blade 6–10 cm, cordate, toothed, acuminate
Flower: peduncle 1–8 cm; calyx bell-shaped, veiny in fruit, sepals fused halfway; petals 6–10 cm, white or rose, base red
Fruit 2.5–3 cm, filling calyx
Seed spheric, glabrous
Ecology: Wet banks, marshes
Elevation: < 40 m.
Bioregional distribution: c&s Sacramento Valley, deltaic Great Central Valley
Distribution outside California: c to se US
Synonyms: H. californicus Kellogg, California hibiscus
Threatened by riverbank alteration
Horticultural information: In cultivation.

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