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Sidalcea malviflora

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About Checker Bloom (Sidalcea malviflora) Checker Bloom (Sidalcea malviflora) is a common native perennial herb in the Malvaceae (Mallow) family that grows in Northern, Southern and Central California, the Sierra Nevada and Sacramento Valley regions. It tends to grow in dry, open flats, at elevations from sea level to 7,500 feet. It has bright green palmate leaves and 1" deep pink flowers arranged vertically on a spike. There are several recognized subspecies with different geographic ranges and slightly differing characteristics.

This plant tolerates a wide variety of soils, and prefers damp winter conditions and dry summer conditions. It is most often started from seed and sometimes behaves like an annual.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
0.3 - 1.5 ft (0.09 - 0.46 m)

Max. Width
3 - 6 in (8 - 15cm)


Growth Rate

Summer Semi-Deciduous

Dark Green

Flower Color
Pink, Green

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Found in a variety of settings and habitats including coastal prairie, coastal sage scrub, dry, open flats with grassland, meadows, and openings in chaparral, woodland or forest (oak, redwood, pine or fir), primarily along the coast and in the Coast Ranges, with scattered locations elsewhere.

Part Shade, Sun

Elevation ?
-253' - 9013'

Annual Precip. ?
6.7" - 158.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 5.80"

Coldest Month ?
26.4° F - 55.6° F

Hottest Month ?
51.5° F - 80.9° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 29.75 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates wide variety of soils

Soil Texture
Clay, Clay Loam, Loam, Loamy Sand, Sand, Sandy Clay, Sandy Clay Loam, Sandy Loam, Silt, Silt Clay Loam, Silt Loam, Silty Clay

Soil PH
6 - 7

Soil Toxicity Tolerance
Tolerates Serpentine Soil

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 0 - 10° F

Sunset Zones ?
4, 5, 6*, 7*, 8*, 9*, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Companion Plants
Many companion plants depending on region. Because it is low growing, plant with other short plants so it won't be obscured, such as native bunch grasses, annuals and bulbs.

Wildlife Attracted
Butterflies, native bees, other pollinators

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water, 1x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Propagation ?
By seed.  For propagating by seed: Soak in warm water 6 hrs. ( Emery and Frey 1971).

Common uses
Groundcovers, Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
California Checkerbloom

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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