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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 8/25/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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8. Malva L. (mallow)

Plants annual or perennial herbs, variously hairy, the roots not tuberous-thickened. Stems prostrate to erect, branched or unbranched. Leaves long-petiolate, the blades shallowly to deeply palmately 3–7-lobed, cordate or less commonly truncate at the base. Stipules linear to broadly ovate-triangular, often asymmetric at the base, entire or less commonly lobed, persistent. Flowers solitary or in small clusters in the leaf axils, less commonly (in M. moschata) also in a short terminal raceme, the bractlets subtending the calyx (2)3, shorter than to about as long as the calyx, linear to narrowly obovate or oblong-ovate. Calyces cup-shaped at flowering, sometimes becoming somewhat enlarged and flattened horizontally at fruiting, mostly lobed to at or below the middle, the lobes ascending to somewhat spreading at flowering, broadly ovate-triangular, overlapping at flowering, the outer surface hairy. Petals white, light pink, pale lavender, or reddish purple, sometimes drying blue, the tips truncate or more commonly shallowly notched, otherwise entire or nearly so. Stamens numerous, the staminal column circular in cross-section, without a low crown of teeth at the tip, glabrous or hairy toward the base, the anthers usually white. Pistils with 8–20 locules, the carpels arranged in a flattened ring around a relatively broad central axis. Styles fused most of their length, each branch with a single linear stigmatic area along the inner side toward the tip. Fruits schizocarps breaking into 8–20 mericarps. Mericarps indehiscent, wedge-shaped, the dorsal surface rounded or broadly grooved, beakless, oblong to kidney-shaped in profile, not differentiated into sterile and fertile portions, 1-seeded, the sides thinner than the dorsal surface and usually papery, sometimes with a reticulate pattern of thickenings. Seeds kidney-shaped to nearly circular in outline, black or commonly dark brown, the surfaces usually finely roughened, glabrous. Twenty-five to 40 species, Europe, Asia, Africa, naturalized in the New World.

See the treatment of Lavatera for a discussion of uncertainties in the circumscriptions of these two genera.

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