Althaea officinalis

Linnaeus

Sp. Pl. 2: 686. 1753.

Common names: Marshmallow guimauve officinale
IllustratedIntroduced
Synonyms: Althaea sublobata Stokes A. taurinensis de Candolle Malva officinalis (Linnaeus) Schimper & Spenner
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 6. Treatment on page 233. Mentioned on page 188, 231, 232.

Herbs perennial, to 1.5 m. Stems erect, clustered, branched distally or unbranched, softly stellate-tomentose. Leaves: stipules somewhat persistent, usually caducous, linearlanceolate, subulate, sometimes 2-fid or dentate, (2–) 5–8 mm, densely stellate-hairy; petioles 1–6 cm, reduced on distal leaves, usually shorter than blade; blades of proximal leaves ovate or obscurely 3-lobed less than 1/2 to midrib, distal leaves deltate-ovate to ovate, (2–) 4–10 × 2–7 cm, base truncate to cuneate, lobes acuminate or broadly acute to obtuse, middle lobe larger than others, deeply plicate, margins irregularly dentate to crenate-serrate, surfaces softly stellate-tomentose, ribs very prominent abaxially. Inflorescences solitary flowers or 2–4-flowered fascicles in leaf-axil, sometimes aggregated apically into terminal false racemes. Pedicels/peduncles 0.5–4 cm; involucellar bractlets 8–12, erect, linearlanceolate, 1/2 length of calyx, 6 mm, lobes 2–6 × 1–2 mm, stellate-tomentose. Flowers: calyx 8–10 mm, lobes narrowly ovate-acuminate, 6 mm, 2 times as long as tube, stellate-velutinous; petals usually pale-pink, rarely white, cuneate-obovate, 7.5–15 × 6–13 mm, 2–3 times as long as calyx, apex obtuse or notched; staminal column 3–5 mm, glabrous or sparsely papillose-hairy; anthers in upper 1/2, dark purple; style 15–20-branched. Fruits partially concealed by incurved, somewhat accrescent calyx lobes, 7–9 mm diam.; mericarps 15–20, brown, unwinged, orbiculate-reniform, 1.5–2.5 × 2–3 mm, rugose, lateral surface smooth, membranous, dorsal surface stellate-tomentose with medial furrow. Seeds brown, reniform-round, 1.5–2 × 1–1.5 mm, glabrous. 2n = 42.


Phenology: Flowering summer–fall.
Habitat: Wet, disturbed areas, along streams, brackish sand, coastal marshes
Elevation: 0–200 m

Distribution

V6 416-distribution-map.jpg

Introduced; N.B., Ont., Que., Ark., Conn., Del., Ky., Md., Mass., Mich., Nebr., N.J., N.Y., N.Dak., Ohio, Pa., Va., Wis., Eurasia, n Africa

Discussion

Althaea officinalis is occasionally cultivated for ornament, food (especially for the mucilaginous root sap once used with sugar to make marshmallows), and as a medicine; it occasionally escapes. There are few recent North American collections.

Selected References

None.

Lower Taxa

None.

"/2lengthofcalyx" is not declared as a valid unit of measurement for this property.No values specified.No values specified.

... more about "Althaea officinalis"
unwinged +  and schizocarpic +
indehiscent +
glabrous +  and stellate-pilose-hairy +
reniform +  and orbicular rounded +
dark purple +
Steven R. Hill +
Linnaeus +
truncate +  and cuneate +
3-lobed +  and ovate +
6 cm60 mm <br />0.06 m <br /> (?) +
accrescent +
5-lobed +, campanulate +  and not inflated +
accrescent +
0.8 cm8 mm <br />0.008 m <br /> (1 cm10 mm <br />0.01 m <br />) +
indehiscent +  and loculicidal +
Marshmallow +  and guimauve officinale +
pink +  and lilac-purple or bluish +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (4 cm40 mm <br />0.04 m <br />) +
4 cm40 mm <br />0.04 m <br /> (10 cm100 mm <br />0.1 m <br />) +
deltate-ovate;ovate +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (7 cm70 mm <br />0.07 m <br />) +
N.B. +, Ont. +, Que. +, Ark. +, Conn. +, Del. +, Ky. +, Md. +, Mass. +, Mich. +, Nebr. +, N.J. +, N.Y. +, N.Dak. +, Ohio +, Pa. +, Va. +, Wis. +, Eurasia +  and n Africa +
stellate-tomentose +
0–200 m +
sparse;copious +
aggregated +  and fascicles +
unisexual +  and bisexual +
Wet, disturbed areas, along streams, brackish sand, coastal marshes +
not viscid +
tough-fibrous +
connate +  and distinct +
simple +, stipulate +, sessile +, subsessile +  and petiolate +
distichous +  and alternate +
connate +
stellate-velutinous +  and stellate-tomentose +
ovate-acuminate +, broadly acute +  and obtuse +
1mm;2mm +
irregularly dentate +  and crenate-serrate +
0.15 cm1.5 mm <br />0.0015 m <br /> (0.25 cm2.5 mm <br />0.0025 m <br />) +
orbiculate-reniform +
0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br /> (0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br />) +
3-40-carpellate +
(1-)2-many +
0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br /> (4 cm40 mm <br />0.04 m <br />) +
adnate +  and distinct +
0.6 cm6 mm <br />0.006 m <br /> (?) +  and 1.3 cm13 mm <br />0.013 m <br /> (?) +
1 cm10 mm <br />0.01 m <br /> (6 cm60 mm <br />0.06 m <br />) +
Flowering summer–fall. +
prominent +
0.15 cm1.5 mm <br />0.0015 m <br /> (0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br />) +
rugulose +
reniform-round +
0.1 cm1 mm <br />0.001 m <br /> (0.15 cm1.5 mm <br />0.0015 m <br />) +
persistent +
Illustrated +  and Introduced +
sessile +  and subsessile +
papillose-hairy +  and glabrous +
0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br /> (0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br />) +
unbranched +  and branched +
filiform +, linear +  and capitate +
1-2 times number of carpels +
0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br /> (0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br />) +
caducous +  and persistent +
stellate-hairy +
? (?) +, ? (?) +  and ? (?) +
0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br /> (0.8 cm8 mm <br />0.008 m <br />) +
15-20-branched +
stellate-tomentose +
Althaea sublobata +, A. taurinensis +  and Malva officinalis +
Althaea officinalis +
species +
monoecious +, dioecious +  and hermaphroditic +