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Globe Mallow

Sphaeralcea ambigua

Details & Attributes


Plant Type(s) Perennial
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs Low
Sun Full sun, partial shade
Pollinators Bees
Has Spines No
Size
In relative feet, width by height
1-4 × 1-4
Freeze Tolerant No
Flowering Season Mostly Spring But Can Flower Other Times Of Year.
Flower Color Orange, red, pink, white, purple
Minimum Temperature Range 15-20 °F
Leaf Description Vaguely arrowhead shaped with three lobes
Fruit Wheel shaped, dry capsules which split into segments
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Range Map View SEINet Range Map
Ethnobotany Used medicinally for upset stomach, as an antirheumatic, as a cathartic, for colds, as birth control, for venereal diseases, as a poultice for swellings and sores, and as an eyewash.
Description Globe mallow is a very widespread and variable plant, often volunteering in cultivated places, so you may already have some in your garden! In general plants will be upright with numerous thin, hairy stems, and in the spring, they are covered with 5 petaled blooms in shades of red, orange, purple, pink, or white. Following the profuse blooms, wheel-shaped pods will develop which split into pie slice-like segments with seeds inside. Plants will tend to look fairly ragged through the summer so it can help to prune globe mallow back after seed has developed and the birds have had a chance at it. A good element in any native wildflower or pollinator gardens across the state, though at higher elevations gardeners may consider S. fendleri.