Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Malvastrum coromandelianum (L.) Garcke in Bonplandia 5: 295.1857. Malva coromandeliana L. Sp. Pl. 687.1753. M. tricuspidata R. Br. in Aiton f., Hort. Kew. ed. 2. 4: 210. 1812. Malvastrum tricuspidatum (R. Br.) A. Gray, Pl. Wright 1: 16. 1852; Masters in Fl. Brit. India 1: 321. 1874.

Annual, erect herbs or undershrubs up to 1 m high; stems, petioles and pedicels with 4-armed appressed stellate hairs, two arms of which pointing upwards and two downwards. Leaves 1.5 - 6.5 x 0.5 - 3.5 cm, ovate to oblong, sometimes lanceolate, acute, obtuse or rounded at base, obtuse to acute at apex, coarsely serrate or dentate, 5-nerved at base, appressed simple hairy on both surfaces, nerves densely covered with 4-armed stellate hairs beneath; petioles 0.5 - 4 cm long; stipules 3 - 8 mm long, linear to lanceolate, acuminate, entire or faintly serrate, hairy. Flowers axillary, solitary or 2 - 4 in clusters; pedicels 2 - 6 mm long, accrescent up to 10 mm. Epicalyx segments 4 - 7 x 0.7 - 1 mm, linear to lanceolate, acute, sparsely 4-armed stellate-hairy. Calyx 6 - 8 m high, 8 - 12 mm across, campanulate, lobes 5 - 10 x 3 - 5 mm, slightly accrescent, deltoid to ovate, acuminate, 4-armed, stellate-hairy outside, margin densely stiff simple hairy, marginal and apical portion of the inside densely pubescent with minute stellate hairs, otherwise glabrous or nearly so. Corolla yellow, ca 1.5 cm across; petals obliquely obovate, rounded or emarginate at apex, ciliate at base. Staminal column ca 2.5 mm long, conical, glabrous. Schizocarps ca 2 mm high, 5 - 8 mm across, globular; mericarps 10 - 14, ca 2 mm high, radially 2.5 mm; strongly curved, dorsally with sharp-edged, with 0.5 - 1 mm long, apical awn, at the middle with ca 0.5 mm long awns pointing outwards, dorsally above the middle wish erecto-patent simple hairs, below the middle with minute stellate hairs or glabrous, laterally with prominent radial veins, 1-seeded. Seeds ca 1.5 mm across, glabrous, brownish-black.

Distrib. India: Throughout in waste places, road sides, fallow fields and as secondary vegetation up to 1100 m.


Notes. This species is often confused with the Sida species especially S. acuta, but can be easily distinguished from the latter by its epicalyx and strigose indumentum on stems, petioles and pedicels.

It shows a wide range of variation in the shape and size of leaves often on the same plant.


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