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

hispid 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, (0.05–)0.1–0.5(–0.8) m, bushy-branched.

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

erect, sparsely or moderately hairy, hairs appressed, 4(–6)-rayed, normally bilateral and swollen-based.


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, linear, 3–5 × 0.3 mm, apex acuminate;

petiole 5–10 mm;

blade lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, unlobed, 2.5–3.5 × 0.5–1 cm, not much reduced distally, at least 3 times longer than wide, 3–4 times longer than petiole, base rounded to cuneate, margins sparsely serrate-dentate, apex acute, surfaces stellate-hairy, hairs scattered, appressed, (2–)4–6(–8)-rayed, reduced to simple hairs at margins.


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

floral bracts absent.

axillary solitary flowers in distal 1/2 of plant;

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.

2–4(–10) mm, to 5–8(–17) mm in fruit;

involucellar bractlets free from or basally adnate to calyx for 0.5–1 mm, narrowly lanceolate to linear, subfalcate, 3–7 × 0.3–0.6 mm, 1/2 times length of calyx lobes, apex acuminate.


calyx connate 2/5–1/2 its length, broadly campanulate, distinctly plicate-angular due to prolonged reniform-auriculate lobe bases, 5–7 mm, accrescent to 8–10 mm, somewhat inflated in fruit, surface hairy, hairs both 4–6-rayed, stellate and simple to 2-rayed marginal;

corolla wide-spreading, yellow to pale yellow-orange, 5 mm diam., petals asymmetrically obovate, shallowly lobed, 3–4.5 × 2–3.5 mm, subequal to or exceeding calyx by 0.5–1 mm;

staminal column 1–1.6 mm, glabrous;

style 5- or 6-branched.


2–2.5 mm.


6–8 mm diam.;

mericarps readily shed from calyx, 5 or 6, 2.6–3.5 × 2.6–3.5 × 1.5 mm, dehiscent, separating into 2 valves, short-notched, mucro absent, hairy, hairs both minute, simple and longer erect, simple, to 1 mm on proximal-apical surface, sides rounded, smooth and unribbed.


= 36.

Malvastrum coromandelianum

Malvastrum hispidum

Phenology Flowering spring–frost at northern limit as an annual (cold-sensitive), nearly year-round when sufficiently wet and warm as a perennial. Flowering summer; frost-sensitive.
Habitat River floodplains and banks, disturbed areas, often in alkaline soil Open limestone and dolomite outcrops, cedar glades, prairies, shallow soil
Elevation 0–100 m (0–300 ft) 50–300 m (200–1000 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 hispidum is local in distribution. The seeds are very thick-walled and persist in the seed bank for many years, but the plants survive only in areas with little other vegetation and will disappear when there is much competition from other species. It appears to benefit from occasional fires. While it is clearly related to the other species of the genus, its dehiscent mericarps, narrow leaves, distribution, and strictly annual duration easily distinguish it. Open flowers are only infrequently seen; most appear to be cleistogamous. Its origins and exact relationships are somewhat obscure.

Collections of the species from Iowa are historic; no recent ones are known from there. It is endangered in Illinois and Virginia. There are very few recent collections from Kentucky. Its status in Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma is uncertain. In Alabama it is quite rare and occurs only in a few cedar glades near the Tennessee border. The species appears to be most secure in Missouri and Tennessee.

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

Source FNA vol. 6, p. 297. FNA vol. 6, p. 297.
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. corchorifolium, M. coromandelianum
Synonyms Malva coromandeliana, M. lindheimerianum Sida hispida, M. angustum, Sidopsis hispida, Sphaeralcea angusta
Name authority (Linnaeus) Garcke: Bonplandia (Hanover) 5: 295. (1857) (Pursh) Hochreutiner: Annuaire Conserv. Jard. Bot. Genève 20: 129. (1917)
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