4.       Hibiscus clayi  Degener & 1. Degener [H. newhousei M. Roe]

(end, E)

Shrubs to trees 4-8 m tall; stems stellate pubescent apically, otherwise glabrous.  Leaf blades green, shiny, narrowly elliptic to elliptic, sometimes oblong-elliptic to ovate or obovate, 3-7(-10) cm long, 1.5-3.5(-5) cm wide, upper surface glabrous, lower surface glabrate, margins entire or serrate toward apex, apex acuminate or sometimes acute, base cuneate or obtuse, petioles 0.5-1.5(-2.5) cm long, pubescent in an adaxial line, stipules subulate to linear, 4-11 mm long.  Flowers solitary, borne near the ends of the branches, pedicels 1.5-2.5 cm long, articulate; involucral bracts (5)6, linear-subulate to subulate, 6-13 mm long, 1-2(-3) mm wide; calyx pale green, tubular to suburceolate, 1.5-2.2(-2.5) cm long, lobes deltate, 0.3-0.5 cm long, surface smooth, sparsely stellulate pubescent; petals abruptly flaring, dark red, narrowly obovate to strap-shaped, 4.5-6 cm long, 1-1.8 cm wide; staminal column exserted, pinkish above, white below; filaments clustered below apex of staminal column, red, 0.3-0.6 cm long; style branches spreading in a flat whorl, pinkish, 5-6 mm long, pilose; stigmas discoid-papillate, up to 1.5 mm in diameter.  Capsules pale brown, oblong-obovoid, enclosed by the calyx,

HIBISCUS                  Page 885 of the Manual

1.2-1.4 cm long, puberulent.  Seeds brownish black, obovoid-reniform, 4-4.5 mm long, sparsely pubescent with stellate and simple hairs. [2n = 84*.] Occurring in dry forest, Nounou Mountain, Hali'i Vafley, and Anahola Mountains, 230-350 m, eastern Kaua'i.

Hibiscus clayi is similar to H. kokio morphologically and could be treated as a subspecies of it.  It is distinctive in the characters summarized in the key and in its usually smaller, narrow, acuminate leaves.

5.       Hibiscus furcellatus Desr.

[H. f. var. youngianus (Gaud. ex Hook. & Arnott) Hochr.; H. youngianus Gaud. ex Hook. & Arnott]

(ind)  'Akiohala, 'akiahala, hau hele, hau hele wai

Coarse perennial herbs or subshrubs 1-2.5 m tall, young branches, petioles, and pedicels densely stellate pubescent and often (in all Hawaiian collections) also with setose, pustulate-based, simple hairs 0.5-2 mm long.  Leaf blades ovate or sometimes orbicular in outline, 5-15 cm long and wide, unlobed or shallowly and angulately to deeply 3-lobed or 5(7)-lobed, midvein on lower surface with a basal gland, both surfaces stellate tomentose and sometimes setose on veins, margins glandular serrate to glandular dentate, base cordate, stipules filiform, 4-8 mm long, caducous, leaving an elliptic scar.  Flowers solitary in the upper leaf axils or in racemes, pedicels stout, 1-2 cm long, not articulate but deciduous at point of insertion; involucral bracts usually 10-14, linear, 10-15 mm long, apex bifid; calyx 1.8-2.5 cm long, up to 4 cm long in fruit, stellate pubescent and hirsute with simple hairs, especially on the 10 prominent veins, median vein of each lobe with an elongate gland above the middle; petals apparently not opening widely, pale magenta to rose, more deeply colored at base, 5-9 cm long; staminal column included, maroon, antheriferous from near base.  Capsules ovoid-apiculate, enclosed by the calyx, 2-2.5 cm long, thin-walled, hirsute.  Seeds 2.4-2.8 mm long, glabrous or papillate. [2n = 72.] Indigenous to primarily marshy or low places near sea level in the West Indies, Florida, Central and South America, and apparently also in Hawai'i; in Hawai'i occurring primarily in wet, disturbed areas, 90-240 m, on Kaua'i, O'ahu, Maui, and Hawai'i.  However, Sinclair (1885) states that it was once common "in nearly all valleys and sheltered places" on both windward and leeward sides of the islands. - Plate 124.

The association of the Hawaiian populations with Hibiscus furcellatus follows Menzel, Fryxell, and Wilson (1983).  Hawaiian collections of the species have copious, simple-pustulate hairs on the stems, a feature apparently lacking or poorly expressed elsewhere.  Plants collected on Hawai'i often have deeply lobed leaves, but on the other islands the leaves are usually angled or shallowly lobed, as is typical of the species.

6.       Hibiscus kokio Hillebr.

[H. arnottianus A. Gray var. kokio (Hillebr.) Hochr.; H. kahilii C. Forbes; H. kokio var. pekeloi Degener & 1. Degener; H. k. var. pukoonis Caum; H. k. subsp. saintjohaianus (M.  Roe) D. Bates; H. oahuensis Degener & I. Degener; H. roetae St. John; H. saintjohnianus M. Roe; H. ula Degener & I. Degener]

(end, R) Koki’o, koko 'ula, koki’o 'ula'ula, maku

Shrubs to small trees (1-)3-7 m tall; stems stiffly pubescent distally with sessile, bifurcate to stellate hairs. Leaf blades green, glossy, subcoriaceous, elliptic to oblong-elliptic, ovate, or sometimes obovate, 3-10(-21) cm long, 1.5-6(-11) cm wide, unlobed, upper surface glabrous to glabrate, lower surface glabrate to moderately pubescent, margins crenate to serrate, sometimes undulate in upper 1/2 or more, occasionally entire, apex acute to acuminate, base broadly cuneate to obtuse, petioles 0.5-4(-7) cm long, stellate pubescent adaxially in a canalized line, stipules subulate to lanceolate-linear, (2.5-)4-13 mm long.  Flowers solitary, borne near the ends of the branches, pedicels 1-4 cm long, articulate; involucral bracts 6-8, subulate to lanceolate-linear, 7-15(-17) mm long, 0.8-2(-3) mm wide; calyx yellowish, smooth, narrowly to broadly tubular, (2.1-)2.8-3.5(-4) cm long, lobes deltate, 0.5-1.5 (-1.7) cm long, acute, stellate pubescent or glandular pubescent; petals red to orangish red, orange, or rarely yellow, sometimes

HIBISCUS             Page 887 of the Manual

with a red basal spot, linear-oblong to oblong-obovate, 4.5-7(-8.5) cm long, spreading to reflexed; staminal column exserted, red to orange, sometimes grading to whitish at base, 4-6.5 cm long; filaments clustered below the strongly 5-toothed apex of staminal column, spreading, 0.4-0.8 cm long; style branches spreading in a flat whorl, 0.7-1 cm long, usually pilose; stigmas discoid-fimbriate, 1-2 mm in diameter.  Capsules pale brown, obovoid, 1.6-1.8 cm long, obscurely pubescent.  Seeds dark brown, angular-reniform, 3-5 mm long, sparsely pubescent. [2n = 82*, 84*.]  Known from scattered populations in dry to wet forest, 70-890(-1,100) m, on Kaua'i, O'ahu, Moloka'i, Maui, and presumably Hawai'i. - Plate 124.

Hibiscus kokio is variable in vegetative and floral characters throughout its range Variations are largely recurrent among the populations of each island except in the coastal valleys of northwestern Kaua'i, the range of subsp. saintjohnianus.  Some of the more striking forms are cultivated and have been used in breeding cultivars of H. rosa-sinensis (Wilcox & Holt, 1913; Bates, 1965).  Subspecies kokio [incl.  H. kahilii,

H. kokio var. pekeloi, H. k. var. pukoonis, H. oahuensis, H. ula), with calyx stellate pubescent and flowers red, occurs in dry to wet forest, 70-800 m, on Kaua'i, O'ahu, Moloka'i, Maui, and presumably Hawai'i, whereas subsp. saintjohnianus [incl.  H. roetae] has calyx predominantly glandular pubescent, flowers usually orange to orangish red or even yellow, and tends to have less stem and leaf pubescence and shorter involucral bracts relative to the length of the calyx.  It occurs in dry to mesic forest, 150-890(-1,100) m, on northwestern Kaua'i.

7.       Hibiscus macrophyllus Roxb. Ex Hornem.

[Paritium macrophyllum (Roxb. ex Hornem.) G. Don]

(nat) Large-leaved hau

Trees up to 15(-25) m tall, young stems, petioles, and pedicels hispid with spreading, brownish yellow, few-armed, stellate hairs up to 10 mm long.  Leaf blades cordate-orbicular, 20-60 cm long, smaller and narrower distally, veins on lower surface usually with an elongate gland basally, both surfaces loosely pubescent, margins subentire, apex acute to acuminate, petioles often as long as blades, stipules foliaceous, 50-100(-150) mm long, enclosing the buds, early deciduous leaving an annular scar.  Flowers solitary or few in open cymes; involucral bracts 8-14, distinct nearly to base, linear to linear-oblong, up to 25 mm long, yellow hirsute, about equalling the calyx; calyx campanulate, 2.5-3 cm long, lobed to about the middle; petals flaring, yellow with a purplish red basal spot, fading yellowish orange, drying greenish yellow, 6-7 cm long; staminal column included, antheriferous from near base.  Capsules ellipsoid to obovoid, beaked, 2-3.5 cm long, yellow hirsute, the valves eventually separating.  Seeds reniform, ca. 4 mm long, bordered with villous hairs.  Native to India through the Malay Peninsula to Java; in Hawai'i at least sparingly naturalized in mesic sites at least in Palama Valley, Kaipapa'u Valley, and neighboring valleys on O'ahu, also in the Kohala Mountains, precise locality unknown, on Hawai'i.  Degener (1932e) reported that in 1917 Rock noted this species as a sparingly grown ornamental in Honolulu.  According to the label on A. F. Judd s. n. (BISH), collected in 1936, this species was introduced from Samoa by him.  No recent collections have been seen.

8.       Hibiscus mutabilis L.

(nat) Cotton or confederate rose, aloalo waikahuli, waikahuli

Shrubs to small trees 0.5-8 m tall, new growth stellate and glandular pubescent, usually appearing floccose.  Leaf blades discolorous, transversely ovate in outline, 6-20 cm long, 8-25 cm wide, usually acutely 3-lobed, 5-lobed, or 7-lobed and coarsely serrate, both surfaces sparsely stellate pubescent, base cordate, petioles usually more than 1/2 as long as blades, stipules subulate to linear-lanceolate, 3-14 mm long.  Flowers solitary in the leaf axils, but often appearing racemose or corymbose by reduction of upper leaves, pedicels 2-12 cm long, articulate apically; involucral bracts (6)7-11(12), linear-subulate, 10-22 mm long, I-5 mm wide, often deciduous after anthesis;

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calyx thin, 1.6-4 cm long, with broadly triangular lobes to the middle or beyond, each lobe with 3 major eglandular veins; petals spreading beyond calyx tube, creamy white, changing to rose during the day, rarely pink and unchanging, usually 4-7 cm long; staminal column basically included, antheriferous for most of its length; anthers, style branches, and stigmas purplish or occasionally white.  Capsules broadly ovoid to globose, apex retuse, 1.6-2.8 cm long, coarsely pubescent with simple hairs externally and along the inner valve margins, valves thin-walled.  Seeds up to 60 per cell, dark green to dark brown, reniform, 2-3 mm long, with a dorsal corona of simple and 2-3-branched hairs. [2n = 84, 92, 100, 110, 120.]  Native to southern China, widely cultivated in tropical to warm temperate regions; in Hawai'i sporadically escaping cultivation, as evidenced from a few collections made on the Halawa and Poamoho trails, O'ahu.  Cultivated prior to 1871 (Hillebrand, 1888).

9.       Hibiscus tiliaceus L.

[H. t. f. albiflorus (Degener & Greenwell) St. John; H. t. f. immaculatus (Degener & Greenwell) St. John;

Paritium tiliaceum (L.) Juss. ex St. Hil.; P t. f. albiflorum Degener & Greenwen, as "Parti"; P t. f. immaculatum Degener & Greenwell, as "Parti”;.  P.  t. var. potteri  Degener & Greenwell, as "Parti”]

(ind?) Hau

Shrubs or small trees 2-10(-20) m tall, young branches, petioles, and pedicels glabrous or finely stellate pubescent.  Leaf blades coriaceous, cordate-ovate to cordate-orbicular, 8-20(-30) cm long, unlobed, median vein or 3 central veins on lower surface with an elongate, bordered gland near base, upper surface green, glossy, and subglabrous, lower surface closely white tomentose, margins entire or serrulate, apex abruptly acuminate, petioles usually 1/4 - 3/4 as long as blades, stipules foliaceous, 10-60 mm long, enclosing the buds, clasping the stems in pairs, then deciduous leaving an annular scar.  Flowers solitary or few in naked cymes, peduncles and pedicels articulate; involucral bracts connate basally to form a 7-12-toothed cup usually 1/2 or less the length of the calyx, closely and smoothly stellate pubescent; calyx 1.5-3cm long, lobed to middle and beyond, midvein of each lobe with a flat, elongate gland; corolla yellow, rarely whitish when fresh, usually brownish red to maroon at base, fading during the day through orangish yellow to dark red, drying greenish, convolute, basically tubular below with petals spreading above, 4-7(-8.5) cm long; staminal column included, closely antheriferous for most of its length; style branches erect, maroon; stigmas expanded and slightly decurrent.  Capsules oblongovoid, short-beaked, 1.3-2.8 cm long, valves firm, moderately woody, closely yellowish stellate pubescent.  Seeds reddish brown, reniform, up to 4.5 mm long, striate with minute papillae or stellate tufts. [2n = 80, 92, 96.]  A polymorphic species widespread in the tropics and subtropics worldwide, especially along coasts; in Hawai'i occurring primarily along coasts, mouths of streams, and other wet areas, 0-300(-1,220) m, on Midway Atoll, French Frigate Shoals, and probably all of the main islands, but not documented from Ni'ihau or Kaho'olawe. - Plate 124.

It is not possible to ascertain whether this species is indigenous or a Polynesian introduction; however, since it is easily dispersed by drifting in seawater and as the seeds are viable for several months, it may have arrived in Hawai'i via water dispersal.

The bast fibers from this species were formerly used for cordage and the light wood for the spars of the outriggers of canoes, and occasionally for the outrigger float; however, Erythrina sandwicensis wood was preferred for this.  It also was used for floats for fishnets.  Fires were started by friction from rubbing a pointed stick of a harder wood such as Perrottetia against a grooved piece of the much softer hau.  The flowers and bark also were used medicinally.

10. Hibiscus waimeae A.  Heller

[H. w. subsp. hannerae (Degener & I. Degener) D. Bates; H. w. var. hannerae Degener & I. Degener: H. w. var. helleri Hochr.]

(end [1 subsp.  R]) Koki'o  ke'oke'o, koki'o kea

Gray-barked trees 6-10 m tall, branchlets, petioles, and pedicels copiously closely

KOKIA                Page 889 of the Manual

stellate pubescent.  Leaf blades orbicular to broadly ovate-elliptic, 5-18(-25) cm long, 3-13(-18) cm wide, lower surface grayish velvety tomentose, upper surface less densely pubescent or glabrous, margins inconspicuously to moderately crenate or crenate-serrate, apex obtuse to acute, base obtuse to truncate, petioles usually less than 1/2 as long as blades, stipules filiform, 5-8 mm long, early deciduous.  Flowers strongly fragrant, solitary, borne near the ends of the branches, pedicels 2-3 cm long, articulate; involucral bracts 7-8, linear-lanceolate, 8-10 mm long; calyx tubular, (2-)3-4.5 cm long, lobes 8-15 mm long, tube usually splitting longitudinally in fruit; petals flaring, opening white in the morning, fading to pinkish in the afternoon, usually broadly obovate, (4-)9-13 cm long, adnate basally to the staminal column to form a tube (1.5-)3-6 cm long; staminal column exserted, reddish to crimson apically, up to 15 cm long; filaments arising in upper 1/2 of staminal column, spreading, up to 2.5 cm long.  Capsules cartilaginous, obovoid, apiculate, to 1.8-2.5 cm long, glabrous.  Seeds angular-reniform, ca. 4 mm long, brownish tomentose. [2n = 84*.] Occurring in diverse mesic forest, 250-1,200 m, from upper Waimea Canyon to the valleys of the western and northern coasts, Kaua'i.

Hibiscus waimeae can be divided into 2 subspecies: subsp. hannerae with larger leaves but small flowers, calyx only 2-2.5 cm long, petals 4-6 cm long, and combined staminal and petal tube ca. 1.5 cm long, apparently rare in the northwestern valleys of Hanakapi'ai, Limahuli, and Kalihi Wai; and subsp. waimeae [incl.  H. waimeae var. helleri with calyx 3-4.5 cm long with a commensurately large corolla and staminal column, occurring in Waimea Canyon to the western and southwestern ocean-facing valleys.

7. KOKIA Lewton Koki'o, hau hele 'ula

Deciduous, glandular punctate, glabrate trees up to 10 m tall, with prominent petiole scars, pubescence predominantly or exclusively of simple hairs.  Leaves simple, blades orbicular in outline, 5-lobed, 7-lobed, or 9(11)-lobed with shallow, angulate or deltate divisions, glabrate but lower surface densely pubescent at base and sometimes with glands on major veins, margins entire or nearly so, base cordate to subtruncate, petioles usually as long as or longer than blades, deciduous with prominent scars, stipules caducous.  Flowers solitary, clustered near the ends of the branches, axillary, pedicels stout, articulate near middle and sometimes with a persistent bract, terminal nectaries absent; involucral bracts 3, foliaceous, distinct or connate basally, entire or lobed, accrescent and leathery in fruit; calyx cylindrical, 2-5-lobed, the lobes usually falling away leaving a basically truncate tube; corolla zygomorphic, orangish red to scarlet or brick-red, curved in bud, densely yellowish silky pubescent, petals reflexed above at anthesis, twisted at base; staminal column exserted, curved, antheriferous in upper 1/3-1/2, terminated by 5 teeth; ovary 5-celled, ovules 1 per cell; style clavate, unbranched; stigma 5-lobed, sulcate.  Fruit an ovoid-acuminate to globose-apiculate, woody, loculicidally dehiscent capsule.  Seeds obovoid, 10-15 mm long, densely reddish lanate. [P.  Fryxell, 1979; Kuntze, 1891b; Lewton, 1912; Rock, 1919e; Seemann, 1865b]

A genus of 4 species endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.  The genus is of obscure affinities (Fosberg, 1948a).  Name derived from kok’io, the Hawaiian vernacular name for these species.


1          Involucral bracts 25-38 mm long; leaf blades 5-13 cm wide, 5-lobed or 7-lobed, basal sinuses open, 

            lower surface pubescent in basal axils of major veins (2).

1          Involucral bracts 40-70 mm long; leaf blades 8-25 cm wide, usually (5)7-lobed or 9(11)-lobed, basal 

            sinuses usually closed, lower surface pubescent near base and at apex of petiole (3).

Page 890 of the Manual                     MALVACEAE

2(1).     Involucral bracts narrowly oblong-lanceolate, 8-13 mm wide; ) …………4. K. lanceolata

2.         Involucral bracts broadly ovate, 15-30 mm wide; Mo……………..…….1. K. cookei

3(1).     Petals 9-11 cm long; leaf blades 8-20 cm wide; seed hairs up to 3 mm long; H

             ........……………………………............................................,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 2. K. drynarioides

3.         Petals 10- 15 cm long; leaf blades 12-25 cm wide; seed hairs up to 10 mm long; K

            ..........……………………………......................................................... 3. K. kauaiensis

1.       Kokia cookei Degener

(end, E*)

Small trees perhaps 3-5 m tall.  Leaf blades 5-13 cm wide, 5-lobed or 7-lobed, lower surface tufted-pubescent in axils of major veins near base, base cordate to,subcordate with an open sinus.  Pedicels 3-7 cm long, bracts up to 1.5 cm long, sometimes persistent; involucral bracts broadly ovate, 25-35 mm long, 15-30 mm wide, shallowly to deeply 3-5-lobed, apex acute to obtuse; calyx tube ca. 1 cm long; petals orangish red, ca. 8 cm long and 6 cm wide; staminal column ca. 6.5 cm long.  Capsules depressed-globose to globose, up to 3 cm in diameter, apex apiculate.  Seeds 10-13 mm long. [2n = 24*.]  apparently extinct in the wild, formerly endemic to the Mauna Loa area on the arid, western end of Moloka’i. - Plate 124.

According to Degener (1934g), some seedlings from wild trees were planted about Kauluwai, Moloka'i, and others in the Wai'anae Mountains and at Wa'ahila, the ridge between Manoa and Palolo valleys, on O'ahu.  These have not persisted.  The species now exists only marginally, grafted on Kokia kauaiensis in botanical gardens (Woolliams, Degener & Degener, 1980); it is federally listed as endangered (Fay, 1979).

2.       Kokia drynarioides (Seem.) Lewton

[Gossypium drvnarioides Seem.; Hibiscus drynarioides (Seem.) Kuntze; Kokia rockii Lewtoni]

(end, E*)

Trees up to 8 m tall.  Leaf blades 8-20 cm wide, (5)7-lobed or 9-lobed, lower surface pubescent near base and at apex of petioles, sometimes with nectaries on major veins, base cordate with a usually closed sinus.  Pedicels 5-10 cm long; involucral bracts broadly ovate to suborbicular, 40-70 mm long, usually sinuately 3-5-lobed, apex obtuse; calyx irregularly 2-5-lobed, ca. 2.2-3. cm long, the lobes deciduous or sometimes persistent, the tube 1.5 cm long, densely yellowish pubescent, later glabrate except at base; petals scarlet, 9-11 cm long; staminal column up to 11 cm long.  Capsules ovoid, ca. 3 cm long, apex acuminate.  Seeds 12-15 mm long, ca. 0.8 cm wide, pubescent with hairs up to 3 mm long. [2n = 24*.]  Very rare in dry forest on lava fields, 460-900 m, Pu'uwa'awa'a and Hu’ehu'e, North Kona, Hawai'i; now nearly extinct in the wild, but persisting in cultivation.  It is federally listed as endangered (Herbst, 1983a).

Hillebrand's (1888) treatment of this species was actually based on specimens of Kokia cookei, collected by R. Meyer on Moloka'i.

3.       Kokia kauaiensis (Rock) Degener & Duvel

[Kokia rockii Lewton var. kauaiensis Rock]

(end, V)

Trees 5-10 m tall.  Leaf blades 12-25 cm wide, 7-lobed or 9(11)-lobed, lower surface pubescent near base and at apex of petioles, base cordate with a usually closed sinus.  Pedicels 3-9 cm long; involucral bracts broadly ovate, 40-60 mm long, glabrous, sparsely pilose toward base, apex obtuse-sinuate; calyx irregularly 2-5-lobed, the lobes caducous, the tube ca. 2 cm long, sparsely pilose with spreading, white to yellowish hairs, eventually glabrate; petals brick-red, 10-15 cm long.  Capsules ovoid, up to 3.7 cm long, apex acuminate.  Seeds 10-12 mm long, pubescent with hairs up to 10 mm long.  Originally known from a single tree in Koaloha Canyon and later found occurring in diverse mesic forest, 350-660 m, in Pa'aiki, Ku'ia, Mahanaloa, Kalalau, and Koai'e valleys, western Kaua'i. - Plate 124.

MALVA            Page 891 of the Manual

4.       Kokia lanceolata Lewton

[Kokia drynarioides (Seem.) Lewton var. lanceolota (Lewlon) Rock]

(end, Ex)

Apparently small trees.  Leaf blades 8-12.5 cm wide, 7-lobed, lower surface pubescent in axils of major veins near base, base subtruncate.  Pedicels 3.5-5 cm long; involucral bracts narrowly oblong-lanceolate, 30-38 mm long, 8-13 mm wide, apex acute to subacuminate,. pubescent near base or glabrous; calyx 1.5-2 cm long, splitting irregularly, glabrous; petals and staminal column ca. 10 cm long.  Capsules and seeds unknown.  Originally known from southeastern O'ahu on the hills of Makaku and Koko Head and from Wailupe Valley, but apparently extinct since the late. 1800s or early 1900s.

This species was first noted by Hillebrand (1888) as Gossypium drynarioides Seem. var. ß.


Annual or perennial herbs or shrubs, pubescence various, often hispid, the hairs stellate and simple.  Leaves simple, blades ovate to transverse-elliptic in outline, unlobed or palmately angled, lobed, or parted, margins serrate, apex acute to obtuse, base truncate to subcordate, petioles conspicuous, stipules filiform, sometimes divided into multiple segments.  Flowers in axillary and terminal, head-like cymes, subtended and at least partly enclosed by foliaceous, sometimes folded, usually cordate-ovate, scarious, veiny, sessile bracts; involucral bracts absent or 9-12; calyx often with conspicuously colored veins; petals white, yellow, reddish, or lavender; staminal column at least partly included, apex irregularly dentate, closely and openly antheriferous; carpels 5, each with a single ascending ovule; style branches 10, sometimes appearing fewer by connation; stigmas capitate.  Fruit a schizocarp, mericarps trigonous-obovoid, essentially indehiscent, reticulate-veined, glabrous or pubescent.  Seeds trigonous, glabrous.

A genus of about 8 poorly known species, apparently all native to the American tropics and subtropics, but with 2-3 now widely distributed in similar regions of the Old World.  Name derived from malache, the Greek name for a kind of mallow.

1.       Malachra alceifolia Jacq.


Stiffly branched, erect herbs or sub- shrubs 0.5-2.5 m tall; stems glabrate or stellate pubescent, often hispid with simple hairs.  Leaf blades ovate to transverse-elliptic in outline, up to 10(-15) cm long, unlobed or shallowly 3-5-lobed, base truncate, petioles usually 1/2 or more the length of blades, stipules up to 2 cm long, sometimes bifurcate or divided into as many as 4 segments.  Flowers in sessile or short-pedunculate heads, subtended and at least partly enclosed by whitish, green-veined, ovate to triangular, cordate, folded bracts 1-2.5 cm long; calyx white with reddish veins, tubular-campanulate, 0.5-0.8 cm long; petals pale to dark yellow, 1-2 cm long, nearly equalling the yellow staminal column, styles, and stigmas.  Mericarps 5, muticous, papery, 3-3.5 mm long, reddish-veined, glabrous or puberulent.  Seeds black, ca. 2.5 mm long, glabrous. [2n = 56.] Native to the American tropics and subtropics, naturalized elsewhere; in Hawai'i naturalized in disturbed places at low elevations on Kaua'i, O'ahu, and Maui.  First collected on O'ahu in 1940 (Kawahara s.n., BISH).  - Plate 125.

9. MALVA L. Mallow

Diffuse to erect, glabrous or pubescent annual or perennial herbs.  Leaves simple, blades ovate to reniform or orbicular in outline, unlobed or palmately lobed, the lobes deeply dissected-pinnatifid to shallow and rounded, margins crenate to serrate, usually petioles conspicuous, stipules present.  Flowers axillary, solitary or in cymose clusters, sometimes in ...... (incomplete!)