SCARLET GLOBE MALLOW
File Size: 98 KB
 
Sphaeralcea coccinea   (Pursh ) Rydb.
Logan County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 4-14 inches
Family: Malvaceae - Mallow Family
Flowering Period:   May, June, July, August
Also Called: Red false mallow.
Stems: Decumbent, ascending or erect, simple to clustered, freely branching, covered with silver-gray, star-shaped hairs.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, short-stalked, circular to ovate in outline, 1 to 2.5 inches long, usually wider than long, deeply palmately 3-5-divided, covered with silver-gray, star-shaped hairs; segments irregularly lobed; margins entire; tips pointed to rounded.
Inflorescences: Racemes, few- to several-flowered, 1 to 4.5 inches long, terminal.
Flowers: Calyces 5-lobed, lobes narrowly triangular, densely hairy; corollas to 3/4 inch wide, brick red, salmon-pink or reddish orange; petals 5, 1/3 to 3/4 inch long; tips sometimes notched; stamens numerous, yellow, united into column.
Fruits: 10-15, kidney-shaped, wrinkled, 1-seeded segments covered with star-shaped hairs; seeds small.
Habitat: Dry open prairie areas, most abundant in sandy or gravelly soils.
Distribution: West 2/3 of Kansas.
Forage Value: Deer and pronghorn antelope graze it more frequently than do livestock.
Uses: The Navajo used the roots during periods of food shortage. Some Plains Indian tribes applied chewed parts of the plant to sores.
Comments: Scarlet globe mallow is highly drought resistant.

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