Malvdstrum coccineum, Gray
Time of bloom: May to August.
Seed-time: July to October.
Range: Manitoba to British Columbia, southward to Texas and
New Mexico. Habitat: Dry prairies, hillsides; wild pastures.
The Greek name of this weed means Star-mallow, and the whole plant is silvery gray with stiff, star-shaped hairs, which are said to have a bad effect on the digestive tracts of grazing cattle and horses, though sheep seem to take no harm and appear to be very fond of the plant. In some localities it has been suspected of being
Fig. 193. - Indian Mallow (Abutilon Theophrasti). X 1/4 poisonous, but Pammell states that "there is no evidence to support this view." (Fig. 194.)
Stems two to ten inches in height, growing in tufts from a perennial deep-boring taproot. Alternate leaves but one or two inches long, rounded oval in outline but deeply three- to five-lobed and the segments again incised; lower leaves with slender petioles but those above nearly sessile. Flowers in crowded terminal racemes on each of the numerous stalks, brick red in color, each blossom a half-inch or more across, the five petals often slightly notched at the tips and longer than the pointed calyx-lobes; styles five or more, surrounded by the ring of many united stamens. Carpels, ten to fifteen, rough, net-veined, and usually but one-seeded.
Infested pastures should be broken up and reseeded to better forage. Until this is done such weeds can be guarded against only by herding away from them the animals for which they seem to be unwholesome.