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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 687. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
General/Distribution: A genus with over 100 species, native of Europe, Asia and Africa. Many species are naturalized in America, Australia and New Zealand. In Pakistan it is represented by 11 taxa, both cultivated and wild.
Comment/Acknowledgements: Doubtful species

Malva waziristanensis Blatt., in J. Ind. Bot. 9:202.1930.

Blatter described this species from a specimen collected by Fernandez at Miran Shah, N.Waziristan. Presumeably F.493 should have been present at Bombay. The Director, kindly informed that this specimen was probably lost.

Excluded species

Stewart (Ann. Cat. Vas. Pl. W.Pak. & Kashm. 481. 1972) mentions that Malva pusila Sm. is of doubtful occurrence. He has cited Stocks 582 under this species. This specimen, available at Kew, belongs to Malva nicaeensis All.


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Annual to perennial, glabrous or hairy, erect or prostrate to decumbent herbs or undershrubs. Leaves petiolate, stipulate, with or without lobes. Flowers axillary, solitary or fascicled, rarely in terminal raceme. Epicalyx segments 3, free, linear to ovate. Calyx 5-lobed. Petals 5, notched, obovate or oblong-obovate. Staminal column included, glabrous or hairy. Carpels 8-15; ovary as many loculed as the number of carpels, each locule 1-ovuled; style free. Fruit small, discoid; mericarps reticulately veined or smooth, glabrous or pubescent, 1-seeded. Seeds usually glabrous; embryo curved; generally non endospermic.

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1 Epicalyx segments oblong to ovate (2)
+ Epicalyx segments linear to linear-lanceolate (5)
2 (1) Plants mostly simple and strigose hairy. Petals not more than twice the length of calyx. Staminal column with simple or rayed retrose hairs
+ Plants stellate hairy to glabrescent. Petals more than 2 to 5 times the length of calyx. Staminal column with stellate hairs (3)
3 (2) Fruits glabrous. Petals 3-5 times the length of calyx (4)
+ Fruits pubescent. Petals less than 3 times the length of calyx Malva ambigua
4 (3) Flowers 1-4, rarely 5, in fascicles. Petals emarginate, usually 3 times the length of calyx, ratio of petal length to width c.2:1 (stem thin) Malva sylvestris
+ Flowers 5-15, rarely less than 5 in fascicles. Petals retuse, 4-5 times the length of calyx, ratio of petal length to width 1:1 or 1:1.75 (stem comparatively thick) Malva mauritiana
5 (1) Mericarps reticulate, usually glabrous (6)
+ Mericarps smooth, pubescent Malva neglecta
6 (5) Mericarps conspicuously reticulate; columella flat or concave (7)
+ Mericarps obscurely reticulate; columella conical (9)
7 (6) Calyx enclosing the fruit
+ Calyx spreading in fruit (8)
8 (7) Flowers usually solitary. or paired, or rarely more but not compact, pedicels distinctly visible. Calyx less enlarged in fruit
+ Flowers usually many, fasciculate, compact, pedicel generally not visible. Calyx enlarged in fruit Malva parviflora
9 (6) Plants glabrescent. Petiole of lower and middle leaves less than 2 times the length of blades. Fruiting calyx 10-15 mm long Malva verticillata
+ Plants pubescent. Petiole of lower and middle leaves 2-5 times the length of blade. Fruiting calyx less than 10 mm long Malva mohileviensis
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