Small-leaf Globemallow (Small-leaved Globemallow)
Family: Malvaceae - Mallow Family
Sphaeralcea is the only genus from this family represented at Arches National Park; Perennial herbs from taproots or rhizomes; usually hairy; mucilaginous stems; 7.87” to 3.3' (2 to 10 dm) tall
Leaves: alternate; simple; kidney or heart-shaped; shallowly lobed; toothed; 0.6” to 2.2” (1.5 to 5.5 cm) long; 0.48” to 2.08” (1.2 to 5.2 cm) wide
Flowers: 5 distinct petals, 5 united lobed sepals; usually bisexual; orange or reddish; styles 5 to numerous; numerous stamens joined by their stalks into a tube; several pistils united in a ring; flowers radially symmetrical; petals 0.28” to 0.6” (7 to 15 mm) long
Pollinators: bees; sometimes bees of the genus Diadaysia can be found curled up in the flowers in the morning
Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November
Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities
Location seen: widespread along park road, around Visitor Center area
Other: The genus name, “Sphaeralcea”, is from “sphaira” which means “globe” and “alcea” which is the name of a related genus (hollyhock), thus referring to the spherical fruits. The species name, “parvifolia”, means “small-leaved”.
Cotton and okra (Hibiscus) are in this family.
Did You Know?
Pinyon trees do not produce pine nuts every year. These delicious nuts can only be harvested every three to seven years. This irregular schedule prevents animals from adapting to an abundance of pine nuts and guarantees that at least some nuts will become new trees instead of a quick meal.