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

Caribbean false mallow, false mallow

Habit Herbs, annual or perennial, 0.2–0.6(–1) m, with 1 main stem, freely branching in proximal 1/2. Herbs, annual or perennial, suffruticose in age, 0.6–1.5 m, sparsely branched in proximal 1/2, usually with 1 main stem.

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

erect, hairs scattered, appressed, distinctly bilateral, 4-rayed, not sublepidote, swollen-based, or few, minute, marginal, simple hairs.


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.


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

floral bracts absent.

axillary, solitary flowers at first, later congested or loose terminal spikes 1–2 cm, these in distal leaf axils or terminating each branch;

floral bracts usually 2-fid, 3–6 × 1 mm, or flowers subtended by leaf and stipules.


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.

0.5–2 mm;

involucellar bractlets basally adnate to calyx for 0.5–1 mm, lanceolate, subfalcate, 4–6 × 0.8–1 mm, ± equaling calyx lobes, apex acuminate.


calyx connate for 1/4–1/3 its length, broadly campanulate, 5–6 mm, to 7–11 mm in fruit, surface moderately hairy, hairs simple, 2–4-rayed, mixed with scattered, 4–6-rayed, stellate, minute hairs;

corolla campanulate to wide-spreading, yellow to pale yellow-orange, 12–17 mm diam., petals obovate, asymmetrically lobed, 6–7 × 3–4 mm, exceeding calyx by 2 mm;

staminal column 2–2.5 mm, sparsely stellate-puberulent;

style (9–)11–13(–16)-branched.


1.5–1.7 mm.


4–7 mm diam.;

mericarps tardily shed from calyx, (9–)11–13(–16), 2.5–3 × 2–2.5 × 1.1 mm, margins angled, sides radially ribbed, narrowly-notched, with 3 minute, apical cusps 0.1–0.4 mm, 1 at proximal-apical surface, 2 at distal-apical surface, moderately hairy on dorsal 1/3, hairs erect, minute, simple or 2–rayed, and erect, simple, rigid hairs 0.5–1 mm, minutely hirsute with ascending, simple hairs 0.1–0.5 mm mixed with minute, simple or 2- or 3-rayed, stellate hairs.


= 48.

Malvastrum coromandelianum

Malvastrum corchorifolium

Phenology Flowering spring–frost at northern limit as an annual (cold-sensitive), nearly year-round when sufficiently wet and warm as a perennial. Flowering nearly year-round when sufficiently wet and warm.
Habitat River floodplains and banks, disturbed areas, often in alkaline soil Open, usually coastal, calcareous soil
Elevation 0–100 m (0–300 ft) 0–20 m (0–100 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]
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
from FNA
AL; FL; Mexico; Central America; West Indies [Introduced in Africa (Ghana)]
[BONAP county map]

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 corchorifolium is most likely a stabilized allopolyploid hybrid between M. americanum and M. coromandelianum, and it appears to have originated and stabilized at least twice, in eastern Central America (Honduras or Nicaragua) and somewhere in the West Indies (the two groups are morphologically distinguishable). Plants in the flora area have typical West Indian morphology, as do those from Ghana, the latter possibly introduced during the time of the slave trade. The Alabama record was historic only; the specimen was collected on ship ballast brought in from Jamaica.

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

Source FNA vol. 6, p. 297. FNA vol. 6, p. 296.
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. aurantiacum, M. bicuspidatum, M. coromandelianum, M. hispidum
Synonyms Malva coromandeliana, M. lindheimerianum Malva corchorifolia, M. rugelii
Name authority (Linnaeus) Garcke: Bonplandia (Hanover) 5: 295. (1857) (Desrousseaux) Britton ex Small: Fl. Miami, 200. (1913)
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