WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Only 1–2 feet tall with low, spreading, multiple stems densely covered with white, star-shaped hairs, this small globemallow produces dense clusters on the branch tips with numerous salmon-orange flowers. It spreads by rhizomes from a woody taproot, making it popular for groundcovers and mass plantings in landscapes. Note the leaves have a rounded outline with narrow, radiating, finger-like lobes.


FLOWERS: Spring to fall. Flowers cup-shaped, 1-inch wide (2.5 cm), in short dense, spike-like clusters on ends of branches; 5 petals, notched, scarlet, salmon, or orange; stamens form a column, anthers yellow. This species doesn’t have tiny, hair-like bractlets beneath the flower.


LEAVES: Alternate, Blades rough, hairy, 3/8–1 1/2-inches long (10–38 mm) with a rounded outline about as long as wide; palm-shaped (palmate) with 3–5 deep lobes (fingers), that can be redivided into smaller lobes.


HABITAT: Sandy, gravelly, clay-loam soils, roadsides; prairies, desert scrub, pinyon-juniper, ponderosa woodlands.


ELEVATION: 3,500–8,700 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CO, ID, IA, KS, MN, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, SD, TX, UT, WY.


SIMILAR SPECIES: 15 species in New Mexico. Species with palmately lobed leaves include Gooseberry Globemallow, S. grossulariifolia, has tiny bractlets beneath the flower, and Palmate Globemallow, S. digitata, has palmate leaf lobes, or fingers, with no divisions.


NM COUNTIES: Statewide at low- to mid-elevation, dry habitats.

SCARLET  GLOBEMALLOW

SPHAERALCEA  COCCINEA

Malvaceae, Mallow Family

Perennial herb

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Leaves have 3–5, narrow, finger-like lobes that redivide near the tip.

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