Sphaeralcea wrightii A. Gray
Family: Malvaceae
Wright's globemallow,  more...
Sphaeralcea wrightii image
Patrick Alexander  
Martin and Hutchins 1969, Kearney and Peebles 1969, New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council Website (Ferguson 1998, revised 2001)
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Perennial herb, 30-60 cm tall; stems few, erect, branching from the base; herbage densely covered with soft gray stellate hairs. Leaves: Alternate along the stems, on petioles; blades 2-4 cm long, broadly ovate in outline and mostly 3-lobed, the central lobe longer than the two lateral lobes; leaf margins irregularly lined with pointed or rounded teeth.   Flowers: Various-colored and arranged in narrow, leafy thyrses (compact cylindric panicles); sepals 5 per flower, 6-7 mm long, densely hairy; petals 5 per flower, 10-18 mm long, whitish to lavender-pink or red-orange. Fruits: Schizocarps splitting into 12-15 pie-shaped segments (carpels), these delicately reticulate on the lower side walls and smooth or minutely hairy on the back. Ecology: Found on dry rocky slopes, often in clay-rich soils, from 4,000-5,500 ft (1219-1676 m); flowers April-August. Distribution: s NM, w TX, n MEX Notes: S. wrightii has an unusual distribution; it is scattered throughout the Chihuahuan desert of southern New Mexico, west Texas and northern Mexico, but it is sporadic and never abundant, justifying its inclusion on the New Mexico Rare Plant List. It commonly has pink-purple flowers; note also the dense soft covering of stellate hairs. It is most similar to S. laxa, which is distinguished by its open, paniculate inflorescence, longer sepals (7-11 mm long at anthesis), and shorter pubescence.  Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Sphaeralcea is from the Greek sphaira, a globe, and alcea, the hollyhock genus (a type of mallow); wrightii is named for Charles Wrightii (1811-1885) an American botanical collector who was part of the Mexican Boundary Survey. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, AHazelton 2017
Sphaeralcea wrightii image
Patrick Alexander  
Sphaeralcea wrightii image
Patrick Alexander  
The National Science Foundation
This project made possible by National Science Foundation Award 1410069