Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Malva ambigua Guss., Fl. Orient. Prodr. 2: 331. 1828. M . sylvestris L. var. eriocarpa Boiss., Fl. Orient. 1: 819. 1869; Masters in Fl. Brit. India 1: 320. 1874.


Small, weak herbs; young parts stellate-hairy. Leaves 1.5 - 3 x 2.5 - 4 cm, somewhat semicircular, upper ones 3-lobed, truncate at base, obtuse at apex, serrate; petioles 2 - 7 cm long, pubescent with both stellate and simple hairs; stipules 2 8 mm long, ovate-lanceolate, glabrous. Flowers 1 - 5 (- 7) in axillary fascicles; pedicels 0.5 - 1.5 cm long. Epicalyx segments 2 - 5 x 1 - 3 mm, ovate to oblong, stellate-hairy. Calyx ca 5 mm across, slightly accrescent, lobes 3 - 6 x 2 - 3 mm broadly ovate to deltoid, stellate-pubescent, free to the middle. Petals dark pink, 7 - 15 x 5 - 7 mm, oblong-obovate, claw hairy. Staminal column 4 - 7 mm long, stellate-hairy. Schizocarps ca 5 mm across, hairy; mericarps 10 - 12, ca 2 x 2 mm, dorsally reticulated. Seeds ca 1.5 mm across, brown.

Fl. & Fr. May - Aug.

Distrib. India: N.W. Himalayas in subtropical to temperate forests between 1200 and 3000 m. Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

Pakistan, W. & E. Mediterranean region and C.I.S.

Notes. M. ambigua readily differs from M. sylvestris L. by its pubescent fruit and petals being more or less 3 times the length of the calyx.




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