Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Malvastrum americanum (L.) Torr. Rep. U.S. Mex. Bound. Surv. 2: 38. 1859; Malva americana L., Sp. Pl. 687. 1753. M. spicata L. Syst. Nat. ed. 10, 2. 389. 1759. Malvastrum spicatum (L.) A. Gray, Mem. American Acad. Sci. Sec. 11,4 (Pl. Fendl.) 22. 1849; Masters in Fl. Brit. India 1: 321. 1874.

Erect, annual herbs or undershrubs, up to 2 m high. Leaves 2 - 7 x 1 - 5 cm, ovate to oblong, acute to obtuse or truncate to shallowly cordate at base, acute at apex, rarely 3-lobed, serrate to crenate, 5 - 7-nerved at base, stellate-tomentose on both surfaces; petioles 0.5 - 3.5 cm long; stipules 4 - 5 mm long, filiform. Flowers in axillary or terminal, up to 6 cm long spikes; bracts 4 - 6 x 1.5 - 2.5 mm, ovate, bifid or biparted, with acute or acuminate segments, densely covered with simple and minute stellate hairs outside, glabrous inside, caducous. Epicalyx segments 8 - 10 x 1.5 - 2.5 mm, linear to lanceolate, acuminate, with simple and minute stellate hairs outside, glabrous inside. Calyx 5 - 7 mm across, slightly accrescent, 5-fid or parted; lobes ca 4 x 3 mm, triangular, acuminate, densely long, appressed simple hairy outside, stellate-hairy along margins inside. Corolla yellow, 1 - 1.5 cm across; petals obliquely obovate, emarginate at apex, ciliate at base by stellate hairs. Staminal column 2 - 3 mm long, conical at base, tubular towards apex, stellate-hairy. Mericarps 10 - 15, ca 2 mm across, strongly curved, obtuse at apex, dorsally with sharp edges and covered with erecto-patent simple hairs mixed with minute stellate hairs, laterally with radial, prominent veins. Seeds ca 1 mm across, reniform brown-grey, glabrous.

Distrib. India: Rare.

Semi-arid tropical and subtropical regions of both hemispheres.

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