Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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



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.



Biennial, perennial herb
Stem generally 1–4 m, erect, leafy, unbranched
Leaf: blade ± palmately lobed
Inflorescence: raceme, spike-like; bractlets subtending calyx 6–9, fused at base, < or = sepals
Flower showy; anthers borne both at and below top of stamen tube; stigmas thread-like
Fruit: segments 18–40, falling from fruit axis, indehiscent, beakless, each with an upper, empty chamber and a lower, 1-seeded chamber
Species in genus: 60 species: e Medit to c Asia
Etymology: (Greek: mallow)
Reference: [Zohary 1963 Israel J Bot 12:1–26]


A. rosea L.

Stem becoming ± glabrous
Leaf: blade generally 1–2 dm, weakly 5–7-lobed, crenate-rounded, cordate
Flower 6–12 cm wide, generally white to red
Ecology: Uncommon. Disturbed, generally urban places
Elevation: especially < 100 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Francisco Bay Area, Central Coast
Distribution outside California: perhaps native to Asia Minor
widely cultivated as ornamental
Synonyms: Althaea r. (L.) Cav

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