Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon
Malvella leprosa

Higher Taxonomy
Family: MalvaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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).
Genera In Family: 266 genera, 4025 species: worldwide, especially warm regions; some cultivated (e.g., Abelmoschus okra; Alcea hollyhock; Gossypium cotton; Hibiscus hibiscus). Note: 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).
eFlora Treatment Author: Steven R. Hill, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Steven R. Hill, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: MalvellaView Description 

Habit: (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.
Species In Genus: 4 species: America, Mediterranean, introduced elsewhere. Etymology: (Greek, Latin: small mallow)

Malvella leprosa (Ortega) Krapov.
Habit: 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. Chromosomes: 2n=22,32.
Ecology: Valleys, generally saline; Elevation: < 1500(2500) m. Bioregional Distribution: CA (esp GV); Distribution Outside California: to Washington, Idaho, Texas, Mexico, southern South America; Australia (introduced). Toxicity: Reported to be TOXIC to sheep, perhaps other livestock. Flowering Time: Apr--Nov Note: Agricultural weed, especially in orchards.
Synonyms: Sida leprosa (Ortega) K. Schum. var. hederacea (Douglas) K. Schum.
eFlora Treatment Author: Steven R. Hill
Jepson Online Interchange

Previous taxon: Malvella
Next taxon: Modiola

Name Search
botanical illustration including Malvella leprosa


Citation for this treatment: Steven R. Hill 2016. Malvella leprosa, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 03, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 03, 2016.

Malvella leprosa
click for enlargement
© 2015 Neal Kramer
Malvella leprosa
click for enlargement
© 2001 Tony Morosco
Malvella leprosa
click for enlargement
© 2009 Keir Morse
Malvella leprosa
click for enlargement
© 2003 George W. Hartwell
Malvella leprosa
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Malvella leprosa
click for enlargement
© 2001 Tony Morosco

More photos of Malvella leprosa in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Malvella leprosa:
CA (esp GV);
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).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

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