A nymph of the glades, said the botanist who named this rare mallow Napaea, because in Greek that is literally what the name means. The glade mallow, however, does no1 always live in the sandy woodland glades and hollows, as it may in some other parts of the country. In north-central Illinois it has been found inhabitating the wide-open country along certain railroad tracks.
Napaea dioica L.
June. Along railroads and in woods.
Glade mallow is a tall, roughish plant with very large leaves and very small flowers. This is a reversal of the common mallow procedure which usually features large flowers to which the leaves are somewhat subordinated. But in Napaea the leaves come to the fore and are more handsome, perhaps, than the blossoms themselves. The leaves are broad and deeply toothed and lobed, much in the manner of a silver maple leaf. The flowers appear in spreading clusters at the ends of the stems, and are small, five-petaled, white a few flowers among a great many buds in various stages of development.
In spite of the fact that glade mallow often grows along railroad tracks, it is almost as well concealed in these haunts as it would be in some forest glade. Few people pause to examine the population of plants growing in the cindery ballast or the old prairie soil along the tracks. Perhaps if more such localities were explored for flowers, the glade mallow might not be listed as one of the rarest plants in Illinois.