Malva neglecta Wallr.

Malva neglecta plant

Family - Malvaceae

Stems - Procumbent to ascending, to +60cm long, multiple from base, typically simple, herbaceous, stellate pubescent, from taproot.

Leaves - Alternate, petiolate, stipulate. Stipules to 5mm long, 3mm broad, ciliate-margined, acute. Petioles to +10cm long, stellate pubescent, reduced upward. Blades to +/-5cm broad and long, reniform, dentate, stellate pubescent. Margins ciliate.

Malva neglecta leaf

Inflorescence - Flowers in fascicles of 1-4 per leaf axil. Peduncles to +2cm long in flower, longer in fruit, stellate pubescent.

Flowers - Corolla of 5 petals united at base to stamen column. Petals to +/-1cm long, pinkish with darker pink lines, glabrous externally and mostly internally but pubescent near base internally(on claws). Stamen column pubescent. Anthers pale yellow to whitish. Ovary a ring of 13 carpels. Style branches exserted from stamen column, pinkish-purple. Calyx 5-lobed, subtended by 3 linear bracts. Bracts 3-4mm long, stellate pubescent. Calyx lobes acute, 4mm long in flower, accrescent, stellate pubescent. Carpels pubescent in fruit.

Malva neglecta calyxCalyx and small bracts.

Malva neglecta flower

Flowering - April - October.

Habitat - Waste ground, fields, lawns, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to Eurasia and north Africa.

Other info. - This species can form large mats if conditions are right. The little flowers are quite striking but the plant should not be willingly spread as it is introduced in the U.S.
There are 5 other species of Malva found in Missouri and all are introduced. M. neglecta is the most common.

Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 5-17-00.

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