Sphaeralcea laxa – Caliche Globemallow

Sphaeralcea laxa - Caliche Globemallow

Sphaeralcea laxa - Caliche Globemallow

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Sphaeralcea laxa

Common Name: Caliche Globemallow

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Subshrub, Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert, Upland. This wildflower grows in high pH soils containing calcium carbonate (caliche).

Flower Color: Orange, Orange-scarlet

Flowering Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Height: To 3 feet (91 cm) tall, but usually less

Description: The flowers have 5 fan-shaped, cupped petals and distinctive dark maroon anthers. The leaves are alternate, green, broadly scalloped, stippled with whitish hairs, almost as wide as long, and palmately lobed with 3 main lobes. This plant is smaller, finer, and more delicate-looking than the other globemallows found here.

The similar Desert Globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) has heavily scalloped and ruffled leaves and flowers with yellow to pink anthers, Emory's Globemallow (Sphaeralcea emoryi) has thickened, elongated, densely hairy, grayish green leaves and flowers with yellow to reddish anthers, and Fendler's Globemallow (Sphaeralcea fendleri) is a taller plant and has longer, narrower leaves and flowers with uncupped petals and yellow anthers.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae – Mallow family
Genus: Sphaeralcea A. St.-Hil. – globemallow
Species: Sphaeralcea laxa Woot. & Standl. – caliche globemallow

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map