Jepson eFlora: Key page
Vascular Plants of California
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Key to Malvaceae

View taxon page for Malvaceae


Jepson Manual glossary definitions can be seen by moving your cursor over words underlined with dots.

1. Flower generally < 3 mm wide; petals with thread-like clawsovaryfruit stalked ..... AYENIA

1' Flower generally > 3 mm wide; petals 0 or without thread-like claws; ovary, fruit not stalked

2. Petals 0; calyx showy, generally > 25 mm wide; flowers 1 in  axilsshrub, small tree ..... FREMONTODENDRON

2' Petals 5, often showy; calyx not showy, generally < 25 mm wide; flowers 1 in leaf axils or not; annual herb, to small tree

3. Fruitcapsuleseeds 2–many per chamber; flowers showy, generally 1 in leaf axils or on  short-shoots

4. Fruit chambers 3–5; style not branched, generally shallowly lobed at tip;  3(5)-lobed, leaf-like, generally persistent; seeds obovoid or angular, generally long-white-hairy; fruit generally gland-dotted ..... [Gossypium hirsutum]

4' Fruit chambers 5; style branched or deeply lobed at tip; involucel 3–12-lobed, not leaf-like, shed in age or not; seeds , short-hairy or glabrous; fruit not gland-dotted

5. Style 5-branched at tip; petals generally white, yellow, lavender, or red; involucel 5–12(20)-lobed, persistent ..... HIBISCUS

5' Style 5-lobed at tip; petals white, pink, blue, or purple; involucel 3–6-lobed, persistent or not

6. Perennial herb to shrub; petals generally white, yellow, blue, or lilac-blue to purple, membranous; involucel  6, , persistent ..... [Alyogyne huegelii]

6' Small tree; petals white to rose-pink, fleshy; involucel lobes 3–5, generally , generally deciduous ..... LAGUNARIA

3' Fruit of 5–40 segments that generally separate from axis and each other when mature; seeds generally 1–4(15) per chamber; flowers showy or not, 1–10 in leaf axils or > 1 in , or 

7. Stigmas linear, on inner side of style branches; fruit segments 

8. Anthers near top of filament tube, in 2 concentric seriesbractlets subtending calyx 0(1–3), generally not forming involucel; fruit segments 5–10, beak short or 0 ..... SIDALCEA

8' Anthers near top of filament tube, below, not in 2 series; bractlets subtending calyx 3–11, generally forming involucel; fruit segments 5–40, beak 0

9. Bractlets 5–11, fused; flowers generally > 6 cm wide, in (spike-) or raceme-like petal veins generally indistinct; stem  ..... ALCEA

9' Bractlets 3, free or ± fused; flowers generally < 6 cm wide, 1–10 in leaf axils, generally not in spike- or raceme-like cymes (occasionally in raceme-like cymes in Malva); petal veins often distinct; stem  to erect

10. Fruit segments generally lacking edges, seed generally not firmly enclosed by, readily separating from fruit wall; bractlets fused ± 1/2 ..... LAVATERA

10' Fruit segments generally with edges, seed firmly enclosed by, not readily separating from fruit wall; bractlets free or fused ± 1/2 ..... MALVA

7' Stigmas head-like or obliquely squared, at tip of style branches; fruit segments indehiscent or ± 

11. Fruit segment below indehiscent, firm, net-veined, above dehiscent, with 2 scarious wings; bractlets 0; shrub; PR, DSon ..... HORSFORDIA

11' Fruit segment indehiscent or not, net-veined or not, wings 0; bractlets 0–3; annual to shrub; widespread including e PR, DSon

12. Fruit segment generally 1–6(15)-seeded

13. Petals salmon-orange; fruit segment 2-chambered, 2-seeded; flowers 1 in leaf axils; bractlets 3, ± persistent; stem  to prostrate, rooting ..... MODIOLA

13' Petals occasionally salmon-orange; fruit segment 1–±2-chambered, 1–6(15)-seeded; flowers 1 in leaf axils, or in , raceme, or panicle; bractlets 0–3, persistent or not; stem erect or prostrate, generally not rooting

14. Petals generally pale yellow, orange, white, pink, or ± red; bractlets 0; seeds 3–9(15) per fruit segment

15. Stem generally erect (decumbent); petals yellow, yellow-orange, orange-pink, or ± red; fruit segment not inflated, 3–6(15)-seeded, walls firm to woody ..... ABUTILON

15' Stem generally decumbent or trailing; petals white to pale yellow; fruit segment inflated, 3-seeded, walls flexible, papery ..... HERISSANTIA

14' Petals white, ± rose, pink, ± lavender, or red-orange; bractlets generally 1–3; seeds 1–3(4) per fruit segment

16. Fruit segment bristly, ± dehiscent to base, generally not net-veined; bractlets 3, ± persistent; stigmas generally oblique-squared, often ± elongate; NCo, NCoRH, CaR, MP (Shasta Co.), KR ..... ILIAMNA

16' Fruit segment generally not bristly, below indehiscent, strongly net-veined, above dehiscent, smooth; bractlets (0)1–3, generally deciduous; stigmas generally symmetric, head-like; especially D or disturbed areas

17. Bractlets 3, conspicuous, persistent; petals dark-veined at base; generally disturbed urban sites ..... [Anisodontea capensis] (2)

17' Bractlets (0)1–3, inconspicuous, generally deciduous; petals not dark-veined; generally D ..... SPHAERALCEA (3)

12' Fruit segment generally 1-seeded

18. Bractlets 0

19. Generally subshrub (annual); fruit segment below indehiscent, strongly net-veined, above dehiscent, smooth; native, especially D ..... SPHAERALCEA (3)

19' Generally annual (perennial herb); fruit segment ± uniform; naturalized, widespread, including D

20. Petals ± purple, white, or yellow; leaves generally ± lobed to ; fruit segment side walls disintegrating ..... ANODA

20' Petals pale- to orange-yellow; leaves unlobed; fruit segment side walls not disintegrating ..... [Sida rhombifolia]

18' Bractlets generally 1–3, occasionally deciduous in flower or fruit

21. Fruit segment dehiscent; flowers generally > 1 in leaf axils; widespread, generally chaparral ..... MALACOTHAMNUS

21' Fruit segment partly or fully indehiscent; flowers 1 in leaf axils or in generally raceme-like cymes; generally D or disturbed sites

22. Fruit segment below indehiscent, sides strongly net-veined, above dehiscent, sides smooth; petals generally rose-pink to salmon-orange; inflorescence raceme-like, generally in panicle, flowers facing out

23. Bractlets 3, conspicuous, persistent; petals dark-veined at base; generally disturbed urban sites ..... [Anisodontea capensis] (2)

23' Bractlets (0)3, inconspicuous, generally deciduous; petals not dark-veined; generally D ..... SPHAERALCEA (3)

22' Fruit segment generally indehiscent, sides generally ± weakly net-veined; petals generally white, pale ± yellow, or ± purple; inflorescence raceme or flowers generally 1 in leaf axils, facing up

24. Annual, prostrate to erect, not weedy, green, glabrous or generally sparsely stellate-hairy; leaf base symmetric; petals white to ± purple ..... EREMALCHE

24' Perennial herb, generally prostrate, generally weedy, ± gray, densely stellate-canescent or hairs scaly; leaf base ; petals generally pale ± yellow ..... MALVELLA



Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) . Jepson eFlora, [accessed on ]

Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on .

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