Desert Globemallow

Desert Globemallow Plant Information


Desert Globemallow grows in the following 4 states:

Arizona, Utah, California, Nevada

It is a perennial shrub native to parts of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico in the U.S.; and Sonora and Baja California in Northwest Mexico. It grows well in alkaline soil, both sandy or clay, usually in the company of creosote bush scrub and desert chaparral habitats, from 150-2,500 metres (490-8,200ft) in elevation. It is found in the Mojave Desert, Great Basin deserts, and Sonoran Desert ecoregions.Sphaeralcea ambigua, commonly known as desert globemallow or apricot mallow, is a member of the genus Sphaeralcea in the mallow family (Malvaceae).

The Sphaeralcea ambigua plant grows to 3 feet (0.91m) in height, and spreads to 2-3 feet (0.61-0.91m) in width. The leaves (see image) are fuzzy with white hairs on both sides, lobed, palmately veined, and on long stems, the number of which increase with age. The fruit is a brown capsule containing numerous seeds, first quite spherical as implied by the genus name, later flattening to a disk (see lowest image). The flowers are bowl-shaped, 5-petaled, apricot to orange in color, and bloom in the spring.
Sphaeralcea ambigua has eight to nine named varieties.
The plant was used by members of the Shoshoni tribe of Native Americans as a food source and medicinal plant.
Sphaeralcea ambigua is cultivated as an ornamental plant by specialty plant nurseries for use in desert and drought tolerant gardens, and a native plant its desert region's natural landscaping and habitat restoration projects.

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