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.


David M. Bates

Annual, some plants with only pistillate flowers, generally stellate-hairy
Stem prostrate to erect
Leaf: blade toothed to lobed or parted
Inflorescence: flowers solitary in axils or in terminal clusters; pedicel longer in fruit; bractlets subtending calyx 3, linear to thread-like
Flower: calyx lobes > tube, acuminate; petals generally > calyx, white to purplish (drying darker); filament column included; stigmas head-like
Fruit: segments 9–36, separating, indehiscent, unarmed, glabrous, lateral walls fragile, margins and outer wall ridged or net-veined
Seed 1 per fruit segment
Species in genus: 3 species: sw US, nw Mex
Etymology: (Greek: lonely mallow, from desert habitats)

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