Common Name: MALLOW FAMILY
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.
Common Name: CHECKERBLOOM
Habit: Annual, perennial herb; with taproot, clustered fleshy roots, caudex, adventitious roots, or occasionally shallow rhizome. Stem: +- decumbent or generally erect, some occasionally stolon-like; erect stem, branches terminating in inflorescence. Leaf: generally fewer above, occasionally +- rosetted; petioles below generally >> petioles above; blades below generally crenate to shallowly lobed, blades above often deeply palmate-lobed or -divided; stipules generally persistent. Inflorescence: head, spike, or raceme, in panicle or not, generally more open in fruit; bracts 2, generally stipule-like, occasionally involucre-like, united at base to +- entirely; bractlets 0(3), generally not in involucel. Flower: flowers generally bisexual, protandrous, occasionally functionally unisexual (occasionally, plants with either bisexual or pistillate flowers in a given sp.); calyx lobes >= tube; petals spreading or erect, purple or rose-pink to white, generally with some pale veins, base generally also paler than tips (occasionally darker), tip +- notched or fringed, petals on pistillate flowers shorter, darker, often <= 10 mm; filament tube generally stellate-puberulent, anthers near top, in generally 2 concentric series, generally pink, +- purple, or white; stigmas linear, on inner side of style branches, conspicuous in pistillate flowers. Fruit: segments generally 5--10, indehiscent, puberulent, glandular, or glabrous, beaked or not, side walls generally +- thin. Seed: 1, generally filling chamber, reniform, glabrous.
Species In Genus: +- 27 species: western North America: Alaska, Canada, to Mexico. Etymology: (Greek: combination of Sida, Alcea, 2 other names for mallows) Note: Some species highly variable, especially in leaves, growth stage; mature plants with fruit minimize considerable problems in identification, as does knowledge of plant base, underground parts; needs study.
Unabridged Note: This treatment differs from that in TJM (1993) in addition of new taxa and in segregation as species of former, primarily inland subspecies of Sidalcea malviflora, now primarily a coastal entity.