Wildflowers of Southern Arizona
Mallow (Malvaceae) family.
Duration: Perennial. Nativity: Non-Native. Lifeform: Forb/Herb. General: Herbaceous annuals, stems to 60 cm long, procumbent or prostrate to ascending, herbage with stellate and simple hairs, the simple hairs persisting on older stems, plants with a taproot. Leaves: Alternate, orbicular or reniform, generally shallowly 5-7 lobed or unlobed, 1-6 cm long, with dentate to crenate margins, petioles gradually becoming shorter distally, with papery stipules 3-6 mm long and 2.5 mm wide. Flowers: White to pale lavender, relatively small, with visible, parallel venation on the 5 petals, these 6-11 mm long and oblong with a notch at the tip (emarginate), calyx 4-6 mm long with acuminate lobes not becoming larger with age (accrescent) but sometimes loosely enclosing the schizocarp in fruit, filament tube pale and pubescent, flowers with widely linear, free subtending bractlets 3-6 mm long, flowers borne in groups of 2-6 in axillary fascicles on slender pedicels. Fruits: Disk-like schizocarps with 12-15 mericarps (segments), these smooth or weakly ridged and rounded on top, surfaces usually pubescent. Seeds 1 per segment. Ecology: Found on roadsides and in fields and disturbed areas, from 4,500-10,000 ft (1372-3048 m); flowering May-October. Distribution: Widespread across most of the United States, not found in Mississippi, Louisiana, or Florida. Notes: This handsome species has white flowers with 5 petals, the petals have a couple visible, parallel veins, these sometimes pinkish, the petals are open and more-or less flattened, with a prominent notch at the tips. Look for this species in Coconino, Apache, Navajo, Greenlee, Graham, Gila, Maricopa, and Yavapai counties in Arizona. Ethnobotany: Plant used for painful congestion of the stomach, compound infusion of plants applied as poultice to swellings of all kinds, compound decoction of plants applied as poultice to baby's swollen stomach or sore back, cold compound infusion of leaves applied as poultice to broken bones, flowers put in oil and mixed with tallow for use on sores, and infusion of smashed plant taken to vomit for a love medicine. Etymology: Malva is a Latin name for mallow taken from the Greek malache, or malakos, referring to the leaves and an ointment made from the seeds which was supposed to be soothing to the skin, and neglecta means neglected or overlooked.
Santa Catalina Mountains
Location: Beside road just beyond Summerhaven restrooms
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