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Chaparral Mallow
Malacothamnus fasciculatus
About Chaparral Mallow (Malacothamnus fasciculatus) Nurseries Show All Photos Mendocino bushmallow or chaparral mallow is native to California and Baja California, where it is a common member of the chaparral and coastal sage scrub plant communities in many regions. It is a highly variable plant which is sometimes described as a spectrum of varieties, and which is sometimes hard to differentiate from other Malacothamnus species. In general, this is a shrub with a slender, multibranched stem growing one to five meters in height. It is coated thinly to densely in white or brownish hairs. The leaves are oval or rounded in shape, 2 to 11 centimeters long, and sometimes divided into lobes. Flowers come out in summer and are arranged on an elongated cluster. A shrub can have of thousands of pale pink flowers with petals under a centimeter long. One variety of this species, var. nesioticus, is a rare plant endemic to Santa Cruz Island, one of the Channel Islands of California, where only about 120 individuals remain. It is federally listed as an endangered species.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3.3 - 16.4 ft (1 - 5 m)

Max. Width
10 ft (3.0 m)



Growth Rate


Gray green, typical mallow shape

Flower Color

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Varied, but often found on slopes or canyons from the coast to well inland. Especially common after fire.


Elevation ?
-3814' - 8715'

Annual Precip. ?
4.5" - 52.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 2.83"

Coldest Month ?
30.5° F - 57.7° F

Hottest Month ?
59.5° F - 86.7° F

Humidity ?
0.82 vpd - 37.63 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerant of a variety of soils as long as drainage is good

Soil PH
6.0 - 7.0

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 15° F

Wildlife Attracted
Very attractive to butterflies and small birds

Butterflies ?


Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

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

Moderately Popular

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

Organic with Rocks

If it gets too leggy, prune back in late summer or fall to encourage more compact growth

Propagation ?
By seeds or cuttings

Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Deer Resistant, Hummingbird Gardens, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Malacothamnus arcuatus,Malacothamnus mendocinensis,Malacothamnus parishii

Common Names
Mendocino Bushmallow

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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