Herbs, with entire cordate or divided leaves, and axillary or terminal, solitary or racemose, short-pedicelled perfect flowers. Calyx 5-cleft. Bractlets of the involucels small, 1-3 or none. Stamen-column anther-bearing at the apex. Cavities of the ovary 5-∞, I-ovuled. Style-branches of the same number, stigmatic at the summit only, forming capitate stigmas; carpels indehiscent or imperfectly 2-valved, falling away from the axis at maturity, their apices pointed or beaked. Seed ascending. [Greek, star-mallow.]

About 75 species, natives of America and South Africa, 2 of them widely distributed as weeds in tropical regions. In addition to the following, about 15 other species inhabit the southern and western United States. Type species: Malvastrum coccineum (Pursh) A. Gray.

Leaves lanceolate-oblong, dentate.


M. angustum.

Leaves pedately 5-parted, the lobes incised.


M. coccineum.

1. Malvastrum Angústum A. Gray. Yellow False Mallow

Fig. 2858

Sida hispida Pursh, Fl. Am. Sept. 452. 1814? Malvastrum angustum A. Gray, Mem. Am. Acad. (II.) 4:

22. 1848. Malveopsis hispida Kuntze, Rev. Gen. Pl. 72. 1891.

Annual, erect with the habit of a Sida, slender, branching, pubescent with appressed hairs, 6'-12' high. Leaves oblong-lanceolate, or linear-oblong, petioled, acute, finely dentate with somewhat distant teeth, 9"-10" long, 2"-4" wide; flowers yellow, 4"-6" broad, mostly solitary in the axils of the upper leaves, short-peduncled; bractlets of the involucels 2-3, linear, shorter than the ovate-triangular pubescent acute calyx-lobes; petals about equalling the calyx; carpels 5, somewhat pubescent, reniform, 2-valved at maturity.

In dry ground, Tennessee and Illinois to Iowa, Missouri and Kansas. Summer.

1 Malvastrum Ang Stum A Gray Yellow False Mallow 12001 Malvastrum Ang Stum A Gray Yellow False Mallow 1201

2. Malvastrum Coccineum (Pursh) A. Gray. Red False Mallow

Fig. 2859

Malva coccinea Nutt. in Fraser's Cat. Name only. 1813.

Cristaria coccinea Pursh, Fl. Am. Sept. 454. 1814.

M. coccineum A. Gray, Mem. Am. Acad. (II.) 4: 21. 1848.

Perennial, erect or ascending, 4'-10' high, freely branched, densely and silvery stellate-pubescent. Lower leaves 1'-2' wide, ovate-orbicular in outline, slender-petioled, the uppermost nearly sessile, all pedately 3-5-parted; lobes cuneate to linear, incised, mainly obtuse; flowers red, 6"-9" broad, in dense short terminal spicate racemes; bractlets of the involucels commonly none; petals much longer than the lanceolate acutish calyx-lobes; carpels 10-15, rugose-reticulated, indehiscent, 1-seeded (rarely 2-seeded).

Prairies and plains, Iowa to North Dakota, Manitoba, Nebraska, Texas, British Columbia and New Mexico. Prairie-mallow. Moss-rose. May-Aug.