Herbs, with palmately-veined alternate stipulate leaves. Flowers regular. Calyx valvate. Corolla convolute in the bud. Sepals 5, united at the base, Petals 5, hypogynous. Stamens numerous, monadelphous, hypogynous; anthers 1-celled. Carpels united in a ring, separating after ripening. Seeds kidney-shaped.
Synopsis or the Genera.
1. Malva. Carpels without beaks, 1-seeded. A circle of 3 bractlets at the base of the calyx. Stigmas occupying the inner face of the style.
2. Malvas' trum. Carpels without beaks, 1-seeded. Involucel of 3 bractlets, or none. Stigmas terminal, capitate. Low hoary herbs.
3. Abu'tilon. Carpels 2-beaked, l-6-seeded. No circle of bractlets.
4. Hibis'cus. Column of stamens naked and 5-toothed at the apex.
Pod 5-celled, many-seeded. Involucel of many bractlets.
1. M. rotundifo'lia, L. (Round-leaved Mallow.) Stems several, procumbent, from a stout tap-root. Leaves long-petioled, round-heart-shaped, crenate, crenately - lobed. Petals obcordate, whitish, streaked with purple, twice as long as the sepals. - Waysides and cultivated fields.
2. M. sylves'tris, L. (High M.) Stem erect, 2 feet high. Leaves sharply 5-7-lobed. Petals purple, 3 times as long as the sepals. - Near dwellings.
3. M. cris'pa, L. (Curled M.) A tall erect annual, with round and angled toothed and crisped leaves, and small sessile flowers crowded in the axils. - Escaped from old gardens.
4. M. mosehata, L. (Musk M.) Stem erect, 1 foot high. Stem leaves 5-parted, the divisions cleft. Flowers large and handsome, rose-coloured or white, on short peduncles, crowded on the stem and branches in the upper axils. - Roadsides near gardens.
Gray. False Mallow. M. eoccin'eum, Gray. (Prairie Mallow.) A low hoary perennial, with rose-pink flowers in spikes or racemes. Leaves 5-parted or pedate. Petals much larger than the sepals. - N. W.
Tourn. Indian Mallow. A. Avicen'nae, Gaertn. (Velvet-Leaf.) Stem 2-5 feet high, branching. Leaves velvety, round-cordate, long-pointed. Corolla yellow. - Near gardens; not common.
1. H. Moscheu'tos, L. (Swamp Rose-Mallow.) A tall perennial, with very large and showy pink or white flowers, in late summer. Calyx not inflated. Leaves ovate, pointed, toothed; the lower 3-lobed, all white-downy beneath. - S.W. Ontario, in marshes.
2. H. Trio'num, L. (Bladder Ketmia.) A low hairy annual. Calyx inflated in fruit, and 5-winged. Corolla sulphur-yellow, with dark centre. - Escaped from gardens.