Plant: annual herb; Stems ascending, sparsely pubescent, the mostly stellate hairs less than 1 mm long Leaves: palmately 3-5-lobed, 1-3 cm long, sparsely pubescent Flowers: 1-4 in the leaf axils; involucel 3-5 mm long; calyx 4-6 mm long; petals ca. 6 mm long, pale lavender; styles 12-15. Fruit: FRUITS a disc-shaped schizocarp, 4-5 mm diameter; mericarps 1.5-2 mm long, prominently rugulose, blackish; SEEDS solitary Misc: Desert habitats, roadsides, and fields; 300-1200 m (1000-4000 ft); Feb-Jun REFERENCES: Fryxell, Paul A. 1994. Malvaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 27(2), 222-236.
Fryxell 1993, Jepson 2012, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Herbaceous annuals, stems to 50 cm long, prostrate to decumbent, branching from the base or above, herbage sparsely pubescent, the mostly stellate hairs less than 1 mm long. Leaves: Alternate, palmately 3-5-lobed, 1-3 cm long and 1-2.5 cm wide, lobe tips entire or 3-toothed, surfaces sparsely pubescent. Flowers: White, lavender, or pale pinkish-purple, petals 4-6 mm long, calyxes 4-6 mm long, with lobes 3-5 mm long and 1.5-2.5 mm wide, styles 12-15, flowers with leafy subtending bractlets 3-7 mm long, borne in groups of 1-4 in leaf axils, scattered on stem, or occasionally near stem bases. Fruits: Disc-shaped schizocarps 4-5 mm in diameter, with 9-13 mericarps(segments) 1.5-2 mm long, these wedge-shaped in cross-section, with rounded margins, surfaces blackish and prominently rugulose, the outer walls cross-riged. Seeds solitary. Ecology: Found in desert habitats, roadsides, and fields, from 1,000-5,000 ft (305-1524 m); flowering February-June. Distribution: Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah. Notes: This species is generally low-growing, with pale lavender flowers and disc-shaped schizocarps. This species is found in most of the counties in Arizona, not found in Coconino, Navajo, Apache, Gila, Greenlee, or Santa Cruz. Look for this speices in Kearney and Peebles under Malvastrum exile. Ethnobotany: Leaves boiled or boiled, strained, refried and eaten as greens. Synonyms: Malvasrum exile, Malveopsis exilis, Sphaeralcea exilis Editor: LCrumbacher2012 Etymology: Eremalche comes from the Greek for lonely mallow, from its desert habitats, and exilis comes from the Latin exile for "small, thin, slender, feeble".
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