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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.



Annual, perennial herb, sometimes from long, creeping rhizomes
Stem generally erect or base ± decumbent
Leaves generally mostly from near stem base; lowest blades generally crenate to shallowly lobed, upper blades generally deeply lobed (generally ± compound)
Inflorescence generally spike- or panicle-like, generally more open in fruit; bracts at pedicel base 2, generally stipule-like; bractlets subtending calyx generally 0(–3)
Flower: calyx lobes = or > tube; petals purple or rose-pink to white; stamen-tube with generally 2 series of ± fused filaments near tip; stigmas linear, on inner side of style branches
Fruit: segments generally 5–10, indehiscent, generally ± beaked, walls thin
Seed 1 per fruit segment
Species in genus: ± 25 species: w North America
Etymology: (Greek: combination of 2 names for mallow)
Reference: [Hitchcock 1957 Univ Wash Publ Biol 18:1–96]
Highly variable and difficult, with many local forms; some plants will not key with certainty. Additional work warranted.


S. malviflora (DC.) Benth.


Perennial from generally well developed rhizomes and woody caudex
Stem 1.5–6 dm, generally hairy; hairs variable
Leaves variable, generally toothed or lobed; upper leaves generally much reduced
Inflorescence dense to open; lowest bracts often leaf-like, divided to base
Flower: calyx 5–12 mm in flower, generally slightly enlarged in fruit, generally densely stellate and bristly, bristles often on a swollen pad; petals 10–20(35) mm, bright to deep pink, generally white-veined
Fruit: segment 2.5–4 mm, generally coarsely pitted and net-veined (generally more so on sides than back)
Ecology: Common. Generally open, ± dry places in forest or scrub
Elevation: < 2300 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province (except s High Sierra Nevada, Tehachapi Mountain Area, Sacramento Valley)
Distribution outside California: Oregon, Baja California
Highly variable intergrading complex with many local variants
Horticultural information: SUN, DRY or IRR: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; CVS.


subsp. dolosa C.L. Hitchc.

Rhizomes generally present
Stem: lower stem long-hairy (hairs ± 2 mm); upper stem sometimes glabrous
Leaf: upper surfaces finely stellate
Flower: calyx sparsely fine-stellate (longest hairs simple)
Fruit: segment ± 3 mm, lightly net-veined, glabrous
Ecology: Uncommon. Open pine forest
Elevation: 1500–2300 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Bernardino Mountains.Like S. neomexicana , but rhizomes generally present, fruit rougher.

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bioregional map for SIDALCEA%20malviflora%20subsp.%20dolosa being generated

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