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Desert Globemallow
Sphaeralcea ambigua
  
About Desert Globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) 33 Nurseries Carry This Plant Sphaeralcea ambigua, commonly known as Desert Globemallow or Apricot Mallow, is a member of the genus Sphaeralcea in the mallow family (Malvaceae).

It is a perennial shrub native to parts of California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona in the U.S.; and Sonora and Baja California in Northwest Mexico. It grows well in alkaline soil, both sandy or clay, usually in the company of creosote bush scrub and desert chaparral habitats,

The Sphaeralcea ambigua plant grows to 3 feet in height, and spreads to 2-4 feet in width. The leaves are fuzzy with white hairs on both sides, lobed, veined, and on long stems, the number of which increase with age. The fruit is a brown capsule containing numerous seeds, first quite spherical as implied by the genus name, later flattening to a disk. The flowers are bowl-shaped, 5-petaled, apricot to dark orange red in color, and bloom in the spring. Three varieties; Sphaeralcea ambigua var. ambigua, Sphaeralcea ambigua var. rosacea (flower more lavender) and Sphaeralcea ambigua var. rugosa.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Size
Size
3 - 5 ft tall
2 - 4 ft wide

Form
Form
Upright, Rounded

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Fast

Dormancy
Dormancy
Evergreen

Flower Color
Flower Color
Orange, Lavender, Red, Pink

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Wildlife Supported
 
Bees, Butterflies, Birds

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Sun

Moisture
Moisture
Extremely Low, Very Low

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to 15° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast

Soil Description
Soil Description
Adaptable, but prefers fast draining desert soil. Tolerates Sodic Soil. Soil PH: 6.0 - 8.0

Common uses
Common uses
Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Maintenance
Maintenance
A good pruning after blooming will help to keep it from getting too woody

Propagation
Propagation?
For propagating by seed: No treatment. Germination may be poor.

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Desert and semi-desert areas, often with boulders

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 2.2" - 40.7", Summer Precipitation: 0.17" - 3.19", Coldest Month: 24.7" - 63.6", Hottest Month: 47.6" - 90.6", Humidity: 1.20" - 48.86", Elevation: -222" - 10105"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Apricot Mallow, Desert Mallow, Deserthollyhock


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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