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Malva assurgentiflora

Higher Taxonomy
Family: MalvaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
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.
Genus: MalvaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: MALLOW
Habit: Annual to shrub, generally taprooted; hairs stellate, simple, or 0. Stem: prostrate to erect, generally not rooting, herbaceous to soft-woody. Leaf: stipules persistent; petioled; blade round to reniform, shallowly to deeply palmate-5--7(9)-lobed or lobes 0, generally crenate to dentate. Inflorescence: raceme-like or generally flowers 1--10 in leaf axils; flowering stalks often jointed above middle; bractlets 3, free or fused +- 1/2. Flower: showy or not; calyx lobes +- = tube; petals +- 0.4--4.5 cm, generally shallowly notched at tip, pink, purple, rose-purple or white, dark-veined or not; anthers generally on upper 1/3--1/2 of filament tube; stigmas linear, on inner side of style branches. Fruit: +- disk-like; segments 6--15[20], indehiscent, generally edged; walls smooth or ribbed, puberulent or not; beak 0. Seed: firmly enclosed by, not readily separating from fruit wall, reniform, generally glabrous.
Etymology: (Greek: malache or malos, mallow, tender) Toxicity: Some species reportedly TOXIC to livestock from selenium or nitrate concentration. Note: Incl 3 California species formerly placed in Lavatera (Hill 2009).
Unabridged Note: Recently treated to include several species of Lavatera based primarily on molecular data (Ray 1995, 1998). Several other widely cultivated species may escape, including Malva alcea L., Malva moschata L.
Reference: Ray 1998 Novon 8:288--295
Unabridged Reference: Fryxell 1988 Syst Bot Monogr 255--261; 274--279, incl Lavatera; Ray 1995 Pl Syst Evol 198:29--53; Ray 1998 Novon 8:288--295
Malva assurgentiflora (Kellogg) M.F. Ray
Habit: Perennial herb, shrub, stellate-hairy to glabrous. Stem: decumbent to erect, generally 1--4 m. Leaf: blade 5--15 cm, 5--7-lobed, lobes triangular-ovate, +- acute or obtuse, toothed, hairy to glabrous. Inflorescence: flowers generally 1--2 in leaf axils; flowering stalks generally +- S-shaped; involucel < calyx, bractlet free parts lanceolate. Flower: showy; calyx 12--15 mm, not especially larger in fruit, generally stellate-puberulent; petals 2.5--4.5 cm, reflexed or not in age, +- rose, or +- purple, veins dark, pale at base; filament tube 1.5--2 cm, sparsely puberulent or stellate-hairy to glabrous, anthers on upper 1/2. Fruit: 12--16 mm diam; segments (6)8, glabrous to hairy, smooth on back, outer edges +- sharp. Seed: 1, +- 4 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=+-40.
Ecology: Coastal bluffs; Elevation: < 350 m. Bioregional Distribution: ChI, naturalized CCo, SCo; Distribution Outside California: naturalized Mexico. Flowering Time: Feb--Jul Note: Cultivated as ornamental or windbreak.
Synonyms: Lavatera assurgentiflora Kellogg; Lavatera assurgentiflora subsp. assurgentiflora; Lavatera assurgentiflora subsp. glabra Philbrick; Malva assurgentiflora (Kellogg) M.F. Ray subsp. assurgentiflora ined.; Malva assurgentiflora subsp. glabra (Philbrick) S.R. Hill ined.; Saviniona assurgentiflora (Kellogg) Greene; Saviniona clementina Greene; Saviniona reticulata Greene
Unabridged Note: Native to ChI, related to several taxa in similar habitats around Baja California; brought early into cultivation in California; locally naturalized on mainland; distinctive in shrubby habit, large showy dark-veined flowers, thick hemispheric large fruits. Native populations extirpated or nearly so, generally by browsing of introduced ungulates, rodents; recovery efforts underway.
Jepson eFlora Author: Steven R. Hill
Reference: Ray 1998 Novon 8:288--295
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Botanical illustration including Malva assurgentiflora

botanical illustration including Malva assurgentiflora


Citation for this treatment: Steven R. Hill 2012, Malva assurgentiflora, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 05, 2023.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2023, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 05, 2023.

Malva assurgentiflora
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© 2011 Neal Kramer
Malva assurgentiflora
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© 2014 Steve Matson
Malva assurgentiflora
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© 2014 Steve Matson
Malva assurgentiflora
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© 2010 Gary A. Monroe
Malva assurgentiflora
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© 2007 Neal Kramer
Malva assurgentiflora
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© 2006 John Game

More photos of Malva assurgentiflora in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Malva assurgentiflora:
ChI, naturalized CCo, SCo
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).