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common false mallow, three-lobed false mallow, threelobe false mallow

Texas false mallow, Wright's false mallow

Habit Herbs, annual or perennial, 0.2–0.6(–1) m, with 1 main stem, freely branching in proximal 1/2. Subshrubs, 0.4–1 m, sparsely branched in proximal 1/2.

erect or decumbent, hairs scattered, appressed, bilateral, (2–)4-rayed, swollen-based, not sublepidote, hairs 1–3 mm.

usually procumbent and ascending, hairs appressed, (6–)8–10-rayed, sublepidote.


stipules persistent, lanceolate, subfalcate to falcate, 3–6 × 0.5–1 mm, apex acuminate;

petiole 10–20(–40) mm;

blade ovate to ± lanceolate, unlobed, (1.7–)3–4(–6.5) × (0.6–)1.5–3(–5.5) cm, 1.1–2.8 times longer than wide, 2.5–4.5 times longer than petiole, not greatly reduced on stem distally, base truncate to broadly-rounded to often wide-cuneate, margins dentate to serrate, apex acute, surfaces sparsely hairy, hairs bilateral, 2–4-rayed, stellate or with simple hairs on adaxial surface.

stipules persistent, lanceolate, subfalcate, 4–6 × 1–1.5 mm, apex acute;

petiole 10–25 mm;

blade wide-ovate to ovate, unlobed or rarely with 2 obscure lateral lobes halfway from base, (1.8–)3–4(–5.5) × (1–)1.5–3(–4.5) cm, usually slightly (ca. 1.2 times) longer than wide, 2 times longer than petiole, base cordate to rounded or truncate, margins crenate-dentate, apex rounded, surfaces hairy, hairs scattered, appressed, (6–)8–10-rayed, sublepidote.


axillary, solitary flowers, flowers sometimes congested towards branch tips;

floral bracts absent.

axillary solitary flowers;

floral bracts absent.


1–2 mm, to 3–5 mm in fruit;

involucellar bractlets basally adnate to calyx for 0.5–1 mm, lanceolate, subfalcate, 4–6 × 0.6–1 mm, shorter than calyx lobes, apex acute.

3–5(–10) mm in flower, to 2 mm in fruit;

involucellar bractlets basally adnate to calyx for 2–3 mm, deltate-cordiform in distal 4–6 mm, abruptly narrowed, 8–10 × 3–5 mm, shorter than calyx lobes, apex acute.


calyx connate 1/3–1/2 its length, broadly campanulate, lobes slightly auriculate at base, 11–12 mm, to 13–17 mm in fruit, surface hairy, hairs scattered, appressed, stellate-lepidote;

corolla wide-spreading, golden yellow to pale orange-yellow, 30 mm diam., petals obovate, conspicuously asymmetrically lobed, 12–16 × 10–15 mm, exceeding calyx by 7–8 mm;

staminal column 4 mm, glabrous;

style 12–16-branched.


2–3 mm.


9–10 mm diam.;

mericarps readily shed from calyx, 12–16, 4–6 × 4–6 × 1–1.5 mm, widely-notched, with 1 conspicuous, distally-directed, medial-apical cusp 1.5–2.3 mm and 2 distal-apical, contiguous, flattened, obtuse cusps 1 mm, surface sparsely hairy, hairs both erect and appressed, rigid, simple on apex and minute, stellate on dorsal 1/3, sides smooth.


= 36.

Malvastrum coromandelianum

Malvastrum aurantiacum

Phenology Flowering spring–frost at northern limit as an annual (cold-sensitive), nearly year-round when sufficiently wet and warm as a perennial. Flowering spring–summer, into fall when sufficiently wet and warm.
Habitat River floodplains and banks, disturbed areas, often in alkaline soil Restricted to heavy clay soil of river floodplains in prairies, especially in the Texas Coastal Bend
Elevation 0–100 m (0–300 ft) 0–300 m (0–1000 ft)
from FNA
FL; LA; TX; Mexico; Central America; West Indies; South America (to Argentina) [Introduced worldwide from Tropics and subtropics to warm temperate zones]
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from FNA
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Malvastrum coromandelianum is a widespread weed and the most common species in the genus; it is apparently native from Texas to Argentina. The introduced and widespread form has simple hairs on the adaxial surface of the leaf, while the native form has stellate hairs on that surface. Both forms are found in Texas. The species historically has been introduced in ballast in Alabama, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, but did not persist.

Subspecies coromandelianum occurs in the flora area and is a widespread weed in tropical and warm-temperate areas worldwide; the other two subspecies occur only in South America and on the Galapagos Islands.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Malvastrum aurantiacum is easily distinguished from the other species of the genus in the flora area by its wide, auriculate involucellar bractlets and its raspberry-red fruits when fresh, these later drying brown.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 6, p. 297. FNA vol. 6, p. 295.
Parent taxa Malvaceae > subfam. Malvoideae > Malvastrum Malvaceae > subfam. Malvoideae > Malvastrum
Sibling taxa
M. americanum, M. aurantiacum, M. bicuspidatum, M. corchorifolium, M. hispidum
M. americanum, M. bicuspidatum, M. corchorifolium, M. coromandelianum, M. hispidum
Synonyms Malva coromandeliana, M. lindheimerianum Malva aurantiaca, M. wrightii
Name authority (Linnaeus) Garcke: Bonplandia (Hanover) 5: 295. (1857) (Scheele) Walpers: Ann. Bot. Syst. 2: 153. (1851)
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