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Genus Malvastrum Family Malvaceae

Description: Annual or perennial herbs or small shrubs.

Leaves entire or lobed, petiolate.

Flowers sessile or shortly pedicellate, axillary or in terminal spikes. Epicalyx segments 3 [or absent], free, small. Calyx 5-lobed. Staminal column divided at the apex into several filaments. Ovary 8–15-locular, each loculus 1-ovulate; styles as many as loculi.

Fruit a schizocarp; mericarps indehiscent or 2-valved.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 12 species, tropical & subtropical regions. Australia: 2 or 3 species (1 species native), all mainland States.

Text by A. S. Mitchell & E. H. Norris
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Flowers sessile, arranged in a dense terminal spike 2–4 cm long; stems and leaves with minute 5–10-branched stellate hairsMalvastrum americanum
Flowers very shortly pedicellate in axils of foliage leaves, sometimes clustered at the ends of branches; stems and leaves with simple or usually 5-branched stellate hairsMalvastrum coromandelianum

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