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.
Habit: Annual, glabrous or generally sparsely stellate-hairy; plant with bisexual or only pistillate flowers. Stem: prostrate to erect, +- hollow. Leaf: blade toothed to lobed or dissected, bases symmetric. Inflorescence: flowers 1 in leaf axils or in axillary or terminal clusters; flowering stalks longer in fruit; bractlets subtending calyx 3, persistent, linear to thread-like. Flower: calyx lobes > tube, acuminate; petals generally > calyx, white to +- purple (drying darker); filament tube included, anthers at tip; styles > filament tube, stigmas head-like. Fruit: segments generally 9--22 or 25--35, unarmed, glabrous, generally +- black, sides fragile, outer edges, back ridged or net-veined.
Species In Genus: 3 species: southwestern United States, northwestern Mexico. Etymology: (Greek: eremi, lonely, and malache, mallow, lonely mallow, from desert habitats)
eFlora Treatment Author: Katarina Andreasen & David M. Bates
Habit: Plant with bisexual or occasionally only pistillate flowers. Stem: generally +- erect, < 50 cm, often with ascending basal branches, densely stellate-hairy near tips. Leaf: generally 2--5 cm wide, deeply 3--5-lobed to -dissected; lobe tips +- deeply toothed. Inflorescence: flowers generally > leaves; bractlets 2.5--15 mm. Flower: calyx 3--14 mm, lobes 3--11 mm, 1.5--5 mm wide; petals 3--25 mm, white to +- purple. Fruit: segments 9--22, 1.5--2 mm, +- wedge-shaped in ×-section, cushion-like, margins rounded, outer wall cross-ridged. Chromosomes: 2n=20.
Note: Subspecies intergrade.