An Illustrated Guide to ARIZONA WEEDS

The University of Arizona Press

GLOBEMALLOW

Illustration

MALLOW FAMILY-Malvaceae

GLOBEMALLOW-Sphaeralcea

DESCRIPTION-Some of the 16 species of globemallow native to Arizona are difficult to distinguish. They are bushy, somewhat woody perennials ( two annuals), 1 to 4 feet high, reproducing by seed. The plants are covered by minute starshaped hairs, which may be very irritating to the eyes. The leaves are alternate and palmately veined. The showy flowers have 5 petals mostly shades of pomegranite red, and many stamens united below into a tube. The globeshaped seedpod, surrounded by the persistent calyx, separates at maturity into 7 to 22 kidneyshaped sections. Each section produces 1 to 3 tiny kidneyshaped seeds about 1/16 inch long, dark brown, and more or less hairy with spreading minute hairs.

DISTRIBUTION-Several Arizona globemallows are largely confined to roadsides, borders of cultivated lands, fields, sidewalks, vacant lots, and drainage areas. The perennial species flower about March to May and reflower from August to frost, in response to the summer rains.

EMORY GLOBEMALLOW-Sphaeralcea emoryi Torr., and var. variabilis (Cock.) Kearn.

DESCRIPTION-Forms many-stemmed clumps. Leaves varying exceedingly from not lobed to distinctly 3-lobed, to separated into 3 divisions. Petals are usually red, but often pink or lavender, 3/8 to 3/4 inch long. Abundant in southern Arizona in Mohave, Graham, Cochise, Pima, Pinal, Maricopa, and Yuma counties; usually below 2,500 feet elevation.

ORCUTT GOBEMALLOW-Sphaeralcea orcuttii Rose

DESCRIPTION-Annual or biennial with a large taproot. The leaves are somewhat triangular with 2 shallow basal lobes. The petals are flame-scarlet to orange, 3/8 to 1/2 inch long. Found only in southern Yuma County where it is abundant, replacing Emory globemallow; up to 500 feet elevation.

CALICHE GLOBEMALLOW-Sphaeralcea laxa Woot. & Standl.

DESCRIPTION-Leaves shallowly to deeply 3-lobed. Flowers red, the stamen tips (anthers) dark purple. Found on lime soil, especially abundant on caliche mesas around Tucson. Navajo to Coconino, Cochise, and Pima counties; 2,000 to 6,000 feet elevation.

Copyright (c) 1972 The Arizona Board of Regents



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