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See list of 7 species in this genus

The genus Malva, as currently defined, is not monophyletic (Ray 1995, 1998). Specifically, some species may need to be transferred to other genera to create non-arbitrary genera. 
For example, the musk mallows (e.g., M. alcea and M. moschata) need to be removed from 
the core of Malva. This could be accomplished by transferring these species to Lavatera 
 or by segregating them into the narrowly defined Bismalva.

  • 1a. Lower flowers borne singly on long peduncles from the axils of leaves, the peduncles exceeding the subtending leaves; petals 20–35 mm long; plants perennial; leaf blades with deep sinuses to below the middle
    • 2a. Stem pubescent with stellate hairs; bractlets of epicalyx ovate to obovate, densely stellate-pubescent on the abaxial surface; mature carpels keeled on the abaxial (i.e., outer) surface
    • 2b. Stem pubescent with simple hairs; bractlets of epicalyx linear to narrow-oblanceolate, ± glabrous on the abaxial surface; mature carpels rounded on the abaxial surface
  • 1b. Lower flowers borne in clusters of 2 or more on short pedicels, fascicled in the axils of leaves, the peduncle (when present) shorter than the subtending leaves; petals 6–25 (–30) mm long; plants annual or biennial; leaf blades with shallow sinuses, rarely 
as deep as the middle
    • 3a. Petals red-purple, (12–) 20–25 (–30) mm long; bractlets of epicalyx oblong-ovate, usually less than 3 times as long as wide
    • 3b. Petals white or tinged with pink or purple, 6–13 (–14) mm long; bractlets of epicalyx linear to narrow-lanceolate, 3 or more times as long as wide
      • 4a. Petals 6–13 (–14) mm long, ca. twice as long as the sepals; mericarps smooth or with a few slightly raised veins on the lateral surfaces, smooth or with a few raised veins on the abaxial (i.e., outer) surface; staminal tube pubescent; leaf blades with usually obscure lobes
      • 4b. Petals 4–7 (–8) mm long, ca. as long as or slightly longer than the sepals; mericarps with conspicuous veins on the lateral surfaces that radiate outward from the attachment point, faintly to conspicuously rugose-reticulate on the abaxial surface; staminal tube glabrous or subglabrous; leaf blades with short, but evident, lobes
        • 5a. Flowers sessile or subsessile in axillary fascicles (sometimes 1 of the flowers of each fascicle on an evident, though still short, pedicel); mericarps faintly rugose-reticulate on the abaxial surface, without a wing on each margin (though each vein on the lateral suface prolonged as a small, tooth-like ridge on each margin); stems erect, 50–100 cm tall
        • 5b. Flowers conspicuously pedicellate, the pedicels mostly 5–30 mm long; mericarps conspicuously rugose-reticulate on the abaxial surface [Fig. 721], with a thin, entire to toothed wing on each margin 0.1–0.7 (–1.1) mm wide; stems prostrate to erect, 20–50 cm tall
          • 6a. Sepals eciliate or short-ciliate with hairs mostly 0.1–0.5 mm long (scattered longer hairs sometimes also present), the entire calyx accrescent and becoming strongly reticulate-veiny in fruit, usually widely spreading under the fruit; fruiting pedicels mostly shorter than 10 mm; mature carpels with a denticulate wing margin 0.3–0.7 (–1.1) mm long at its widest point (note: widest point is typically 
± opposite the attachment point)
          • 6b. Sepals long-ciliate with hairs mostly 0.5–1.3 mm long, the entire calyx only slightly accrescent, not becoming reticulate-veiny, usually closed over the fruit; fruiting pedicels mostly longer than 10 mm; mature carpels with a very narrow, entire to undulate wing margin 0.1–0.2 (–0.3) mm wide at its widest point

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 Show photos of:   Each photo represents one species in this genus.