Hibiscus rosa-sinensis




pronounced: mal-VAY-see-eye

the hibiscus or mallow family

Malva is Latin for the mallow. The Malvaceae are herbs, shrubs or tress characterized by the presence of stellate hairs and mucilaginous sap. The leaves are alternate, simple, and usually palmately veined; stipules are present. The flowers are usually bisexual: 3 – 5 petals, more-or-less fused, often subtended by an epicalyx of 3 or more segments. There are 5 petals, distinct, but usually fused to the base of the staminal column. There are numerous stamens, their filaments fused in a column surrounding the style. The ovary is superior; there are 2 to many carpels, often 5, united; 1 to many ovules; the style branched, with the same number of branches as there are carpels, or twice the number. The fruit is a capsule or a schizocarp.



photograph © Donald Simpson