Asymmetric leaf base San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, Irvine, CA. 5-28-07. © Joan Avise.

Alkali Mallow

Malvella leprosa

A low growing perennial found in alkaline soil, wet flats of vernal pools, depressions, seeps and on damp sand.  Propagation is mainly by underground rhizomes.  The flowers have nectaries made of many tightly packed glandular hairs, usually positioned on the sepals. It is attractive to butterflies, especially the Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus).

Malvaceae

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San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, Irvine, CA. 8-20-11. © Joan Avise.

Numerous stamens fused into a column at the base. San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, Irvine, CA. 8-20-11. © Joan Avise.

Hairy leaves with toothed margins San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, Irvine, CA. 8-20-11. © Joan Avise.

Prominent veins radiating from leaf base San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, Irvine, CA. 5-28-07. © Joan Avise.

6-12 in. clone former. Peter's Canyon Regional Park, Irvine, CA. 4-29-07. © Joan Avise.