• South Window


    National Park Utah

Small-leaf Globemallow (Small-leaved Globemallow)

Sphaeralcea parvifolia

Sphaeralcea parvifolia

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

Fruits: schizocarp

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 Pine

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.