Smithsonian Contr. Knowl. 3(5): 17. 1852.
Plants perennial. Stems ascending to decumbent, green to gray-green, 1–3(–5) dm, canescent. Leaf blades green to gray-green, oblong-ovate to ovate-lanceolate, unlobed, lobed, or pedately divided, (1–)2–6 cm, not rugose, base cuneate to cordate, margins entire, crenate, or dentate, usually green or tan, surfaces stellate-pubescent. Inflorescences paniculate or racemose, open or crowded, flowers clustered or solitary, tip leafy or not; involucellar bractlets green to tan. Flowers: sepals 4–11 mm, tips forming beak in bud; petals red-orange, pink, or purple, 10–20 mm; anthers yellow or purple. Schizocarps widely conic; mericarps 10–30, 3–7 × 1.5–2.5 mm, thickish, chartaceous, nonreticulate dehiscent part 60–80% of height, tip obtuse to acute, usually muticous (to mucronate to cuspidate), cusp 1–2 mm, indehiscent part sometimes wider than dehiscent part. Seeds 1 or 2 per mericarp, brown or black, glabrous or pubescent. 2n = 10, 30.
Phenology: Flowering early spring–fall.
Habitat: Plains, alkaline or gypsum areas
Elevation: 800–2100 m
Ariz., N.Mex., Tex., Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, Sonora, Tamaulipas).
T. H. Kearney (1935) recognized subspecies of Sphaeralcea hastulata; the subspecies are not clearly and consistently distinguishable and are herein combined.