Malva arborea

(Linnaeus) Webb & Berthelot

Hist. Nat. Îles Canaries 3(2,1): 30. 1836.

Common names: Tree mallow
Basionym: Lavatera arborea Linnaeus Sp. Pl. 2: 690. 1753
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 6. Treatment on page 288. Mentioned on page 287.

Herbs, biennial or perennial, or subshrubs, 1–3 m, stellate-tomentose. Stems erect, base usually woody. Leaves: stipules deciduous, ovate, 4–5 × 2–3 mm, papery, apex acute to obtuse, sparsely stellate-hairy and ciliate; petiole longer than blade; blade rounded, shallowly and unequally 5–7(–9)-lobed (lobes obtuse), 5–20 × 5–20 cm, base cordate, margins crenate, apex obtuse to rounded, surfaces densely soft stellate-hairy especially abaxially. Inflorescences axillary, flowers in fascicles. Pedicels jointed distally, 0.5–1 cm, not much longer in fruit; involucellar bractlets connate in proximal 1/3, adnate to calyx, lobes broadly ovate to round, 8 × 5–6 mm, longer than calyx, margins entire, apex acute or obtuse, surfaces stellate-hairy. Flowers: calyx 3–4 mm, not much enlarged in fruit, densely stellate-canescent; petals rose to lavender with 5 darker veins, dark purple basally, 15–20 mm, length 4–5 times calyx, apex emarginate; staminal column 8–10 mm, glabrous proximally, stellate-hairy distally; anthers purplish; style (6–)8(or 9)-branched; stigmas (6–)8(or 9). Schizocarps 8–10 mm diam.; mericarps (6–)8(or 9), 4–5 mm, margins sharp-angled, apical surface and sides ridged, surfaces glabrous or hairy. Seeds dark brown, 3 mm. 2n = 36, 40, 42, 44.

Phenology: Flowering Apr–May(–Sep).
Habitat: Disturbed areas, coastal bluffs, dunes
Elevation: 0–200 m


V6 524-distribution-map.jpg

Introduced; Calif., Oreg., Europe, introduced also in Mexico (Baja California), Africa (Libya), Atlantic Islands (Canary Islands), Pacific Islands (New Zealand), Australia.


Malva arborea is infrequently cultivated as a garden ornamental. It is traditionally placed in Lavatera and has three prominent, spreading, rounded, earlike involucellar bractlets and inconspicuous sepals.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Malva arborea"
Steven R. Hill +
(Linnaeus) Webb & Berthelot +
Lavatera arborea +
Tree mallow +
Calif. +, Oreg. +, Europe +, introduced also in Mexico (Baja California) +, Africa (Libya) +, Atlantic Islands (Canary Islands) +, Pacific Islands (New Zealand) +  and Australia. +
0–200 m +
Disturbed areas, coastal bluffs, dunes +
Flowering Apr–May(–Sep). +
Hist. Nat. Îles Canaries +
Introduced +
Axolopha +, Bismalva +  and Saviniona +
Malva arborea +
species +