Malvaceae: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Least Mallow, Malva parviflora
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae


Malvaceae, or the mallow family, is a family of flowering plants containing over 200 genera with close to 2,300 species.[1] Well known members of this family include okra and cacao. The largest genera in terms of number of species include Hibiscus (300 species), Sterculia (250 species), Dombeya (225 species), Pavonia (200 species) and Sida (200 species).



The circumscription of the Malvaceae is very controversial. The traditional Malvaceae sensu stricto comprises a very homogeneous and cladistically monophyletic group. Another major circumscription, Malvaceae sensu lato, has been more recently defined on the basis that newer techniques have shown that the commonly recognised families Bombacaceae, Tiliaceae, and Sterculiaceae, which have always been considered very close to Malvaceae s.s., are not monophyletic groups. Thus the Malvaceae have been expanded to include all of these families so to have a monophyletic group. Adopting this circumscription, Malvaceae incorporates a much larger number of genera.

This article is based on the second circumscription, as presented by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Website.[2] The Malvaceae s.l. (hereafter simply "Malvaceae") comprise nine subfamilies. A tentative cladogram of the family is shown below. The diamond denotes a poorly supported branching (<80%).

Byttnerioideae: 26 genera, 650 species. Pantropical, especially South America

Grewioideae: 25 genera, 770 species. Pantropical.

Sterculioideae: 12 genera, 430 species. Pantropical

Tilioideae: 3 genera, 50 species. Northern temperate regions and Central America

Dombeyoideae: About 20 genera, c.380 species. Palaeotropical, especially Madagascar and Mascarenes

Brownowioideae: 8 genera, c.70 species. Especially palaeotropical.

Helicteroideae: 8 to 12 genera, 10 to 90 species. Tropical, especially south east Asia.

Malvoideae: 78 genera, 1,670 species. Temperate to tropical.

Bombacoideae: 12 genera, 120 species. Tropical, especially Africa and America

It is important to point out the relationships between these subfamilies are still either poorly supported or almost completely obscure, so that the very definition of the family may change dramatically as new studies are published.

If looking for information about the traditional Malvaceae s.s., we recommend referring to Malvoideae, the subfamily that approximately corresponds to that group.


Pavonia odorata

Most species are herbs or shrubs but some are trees and lianas.

Leaves and stems

Stellate hairs on the underside of a dried leaf of Malva alcea

Leaves are generally alternate, often palmately lobed or compound and palmately veined. The margin may be entire, but when dentate a vein ends at the tip of each tooth (malvoid teeth). Stipules are present. The stems contain mucous canals and often also mucous cavities. Hairs are common, and are most typically stellate.


The flowers are commonly borne in definite or indefinite axillary inflorescences, which are often reduced to a single flower, but may also be cauliflorous, oppositifolious or terminal. They often bear supernumerary bracts. They can be unisexual or bisexual and are generally actinomorphic, often associated with conspicuous bracts, forming an epicalyx. They generally have five valvate sepals, most frequently basally connate. Five imbricate petals. The stamens are five to numerous, connate at least at their bases, but often forming a tube around the pistils. The pistils are composed of two to many connate carpels. The ovary is superior, with axial placentation. Capitate or lobed stigma. The flowers have nectaries made of many tightly packed glandular hairs, usually positioned on the sepals.


Durian fruits.

Most often a loculicidal capsule, a schizocarp or nut.


A number of species are pests in agriculture, including Abutilon theophrasti and Modiola caroliniana, and others that are garden escapes. Cotton (4 species of Gossypium), kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus), Cacao, Kola nut and okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) are important agricultural crops. The fruit and leaves of baobabs are edible, as is the fruit of the durian.


  1. ^ Judd & al.
  2. ^ Angiosperm Phylogeny Website
  • Baum, D. A., W. S. Alverson, and R. Nyffeler (1998). "A durian by any other name: taxonomy and nomenclature of the core Malvales". Harvard Papers in Botany 3: 315–330.  
  • Baum, D. A., S. D. Smith2, A. Yen, W. S. Alverson, R. Nyffeler, B. A. Whitlock and R. L. Oldham (2004). "Phylogenetic relationships of Malvatheca (Bombacoideae and Malvoideae; Malvaceae sensu lato) as inferred from plastid DNA sequences". American Journal of Botany 91: 1863–1871. doi:10.3732/ajb.91.11.1863.   (abstract online here).
  • Bayer, C., J. R. Hoppe, K. Kubitzki, M. F. Fay, A. Y. De Bruijn, V. Savolainen, C. M. Morton, K. Kubitzki, W. S. Alverson, and M. W. Chase (1999). "Support for an expanded family concept of Malvaceae within a recircumscribed order Malvales: a combined analysis of plastid atpB and rbcL DNA sequences". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 129: 267–303. doi:10.1006/bojl.1998.0226.  
  • Bayer, C. and K. Kubitzki 2003. Malvaceae, pp. 225-311. In K. Kubitzki (ed.), The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants, vol. 5, Malvales, Capparales and non-betalain Caryophyllales.
  • Edlin, H. L. (1935). "A critical revision of certain taxonomic groups of the Malvales". New Phytologist 34 (1-20): 122–143. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.1935.tb06834.x.  
  • Judd, W. S., and S. R. Manchester (1997). "Circumscription of Malvaceae (Malvales) as determined by a preliminary cladistic analysis of morphological, anatomical, palynological, and chemical characters". Brittonia 49: 384–405. doi:10.2307/2807839.  
  • Judd, W. S., C. S. Campbell, E. A. Kellogg and P. F. Stevens. Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach.
  • Maas, P. J. M. and L. Y. Th. Westra. 2005. Neotropical Plant Families (3rd edition).
  • Perveen, A., E. Grafström and G. El-Ghazaly (2004). "World Pollen and Spore Flora 23. Malvaceae Adams. P.p. Subfamilies: Grewioideae, Tilioideae, Brownlowioideae". Grana 43: 129–155. doi:10.1080/00173130410000730.   (abstract online here).
  • Tate, J. A., J. F. Aguilar, S. J. Wagstaff, J. C. La Duke5, T. A. Bodo Slotta and B. B. Simpson (2005). "Phylogenetic relationships within the tribe Malveae (Malvaceae, subfamily Malvoideae) as inferred from ITS sequence data". American Journal of Botany 92: 584–602. doi:10.3732/ajb.92.4.584.   (abstract online here).

See also

Florissantia -- an extinct Cenozoic genus

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MALVACEAE, in botany, an order of Dicotyledons belonging to the series Columniferae, to which belong also the orders Tiliaceae (containing Tilia, the lime-tree), Bombaceae (containing Adansonia, the baobab), Sterculiaceae (containing Theobroma, cocoa, and Colo, cola-nut). It contains 39 genera with about 300 species, and occurs in all regions except the coldest, the number of species increasing as we approach the tropics. It is represented in Britain by three genera: Malva, mallow; Althaea, marsh-mallow; and Lavatera, tree-mallow. The plants are herbs, as in the British mallows, or, in the warmer parts of the earth, shrubs or trees. The leaves are alternate and often palmately lobed or divided; the stipules generally fall early. The leaves and young shoots often bear stellate hairs and the tissues contain mucilage-sacs. The regular, hermaphrodite, often showy flowers are borne in the leaf-axils, solitary or in fasicles, or form more or less complicated cymose arrangements. An epicalyx (see Mallow, figs. 3, 4), formed by a whorl of three or more bracteoles is generally present just beneath the calyx; sometimes, as in Abutilon, it is absent. The parts of the flowers are typically in fives (fig. 1); the five sepals, which have a valvate aestivation, are succeeded by five often large showy petals which are twisted in the bud; they are free to the base, where they are attached to the staminal tube and fall with it when the flower withers. The very numerous stamens are regarded as arising from the branching of a whorl.of five opposite the petals; they are united into a tube at the base, and bear kidney-shaped one-celled anthers which open by a slit across the top (fig. 2). The large spherical pollen-grains are covered with spines. The carpels are one to numerous; when five in number, as in Abutilon, they are opposite the petals, or, as in Hibiscus, opposite the sepals. In the British genera and many others they are numerous, forming a whorl round the top of the axis in the centre of the flower, the united styles rising from the centre and bearing a corresponding number of stigmatic branches. In Malope the numerous carpels are arranged one above the other in vertical rows. One or more anatropous ovules are attached to the inner angle of each carpel; they are generally ascending but sometimes pendulous or horizontal; the position may vary, as in Abutilon, in one and the same carpel.

The flowers are proterandrous; when the flower opens the unripe stigmas are hidden in the staminal tube and the anthers occupy the centre of the flower; as the anthers dehisce the filaments bend backwards and finally the ripe stigmas spread in the centre. Pollination is effected by insects which visit the flower for the honey, which is secreted in pits one between the base of each petal and is protected from rain by hairs on the lower margin of the petals. In small pale-flowered forms, like Malva rotundifolia, which attract few insects, self-pollination has been observed, the style-arms twisting to bring the stigmatic surfaces into contact with the anthers.

Except in Malvaviscus which has a berry, the fruits are dry. In Malva (see Mallow) and allied genera they form one-seeded schizocarps separating from the persistent central column and from 'each other. In Hibiscus and Gossypium (cotton-plant, q.v.), the fruit is a capsule splitting loculicidally. Distribution of the seeds is sometimes aided by hooked outgrowths on the wall of the schizocarp, or by a hairy covering on the seed, an extreme case of which is the cotton-plant where the seed is buried FIG. 1. - Floral Diagram of Hollyhock (Althaea rosea). a, Stamens. b, Bract. g, Pistil of carpels.

Epicalyx, formed from an involucre of bracteoles.

p, Petals. s, Sepals.

FIG. 2.

1, Anther.

2, Pollen grain of Hollyhock (Althaea rosea) enlarged. The pollen grain bears numerous spines, the dark spots indicate thin places in the extine.

in a mass of long tangled hairs - the cotton. The embryo is generally large with much-folded cotyledons and a small amount of endosperm.

The largest genus, Hibiscus, contains 150 species, which are widely distributed chiefly in the tropics; H. rosasinensis is a wellknown greenhouse plant. Abutilon (q.v.) contains 80 species, mainly tropical; Lavatera, with 20 species, is chiefly Mediterranean; Althaea has about 15 species in temperate and warm regions, A. rosea being the hollyhock (q.v.); Malva has about 30 species in the north-temperate zone. Several genera are largely or exclusively American.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




Formed from the genus name Malva + -aceae

Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:



  1. a large taxonomic family, within order Malvales - many flowering plants
Wikispecies has information on:


See also


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids II
Ordo: Malvales
Familia: Malvaceae
Subfamiliae: Bombacoideae - Brownlowioideae - Byttnerioideae - Dombeyoideae - Grewioideae - Helicteroideae - Malvoideae - Sterculioideae - Tilioideae


Malvaceae Adans.

Vernacular names

한국어: 아욱과
Nederlands: Kaasjeskruidachtigen
Tiếng Việt: Họ Cẩm quỳ
Türkçe: Ebegümecigiller
Українська: Мальвові


  • USDA: GRIN Taxonomy for Plants[1]

Genera overview

Abelmoschus - Abroma - Abutilon - Abutilothamnus - Acaulimalva - Acropogon - Adansonia - Aguiaria - Akrosida - Alcea - Allosidastrum - Allowissadula - Althaea - Alyogyne - Ancistrocarpus - Anisodontea - Anoda - Anotea - Apeiba - Asterotrichion - Astiria - Ayenia - Bakeridesia - Bastardia - Bastardiastrum - Bastardiopsis - Batesimalva - Bernoullia - Berrya - Billieturnera - Bombax - Brachychiton - Briquetia - Brownlowia - Burretiodendron - Byttneria - Callirhoe - Calyculogygas - Calyptraemalva - Catostemma - Cavanillesia - Ceiba - Cenocentrum - Cephalohibiscus - Cheirolaena - Chiranthodendron - Christiana - Cienfuegosia - Clappertonia - Codonochlamys - Cola - Colona - Commersonia - Corchoropsis - Corchorus - Corynabutilon - Cristaria - Decaschistia - Dendrosida - Desplatsia - Dicarpidium - Dicellostyles - Diplodiscus - Dirhamphis - Dombeya - Duboscia - Eleutherostylis - Entelea - Eremalche - Erinocarpus - Eriolaena - Eriotheca - Fioria - Firmiana - Franciscodendron - Fremontodendron - Fryxellia - Fuertesimalva - Gaya - Gilesia - Glyphaea - Goethalsia - Gossypioides - Gossypium - Grewia - Guazuma - Guichenotia - Gynatrix - Gyranthera - Hainania - Hampea - Hannafordia - Harmsia - Helicteres - Helicteropsis - Heliocarpus - Helmiopsiella - Helmiopsis - Herissantia - Heritiera - Hermannia - Herrania - Hibiscadelphus - Hibiscus - Hildegardia - Hochreutinera - Hoheria - Horsfordia - Howittia - Huberodendron - Humbertianthus - Humbertiella - Hydrogaster - Iliamna - Jarandersonia - Julostylis - Jumelleanthus - Kearnemalvastrum - Keraudrenia - Kitaibela - Kleinhovia - Kokia - Kosteletzkya - Krapovickasia - Kydia - Lagunaria - Lasiopetalum - Lavatera - Lawrencia - Lebronnecia - Lecanophora - Luehea - Lueheopsis - Lysiosepalum - Macrostelia - Malachra - Malacothamnus - Malope - Malva - Malvastrum - Malvaviscus - Malvella - Mansonia - Matisia - Megatritheca - Megistostegium - Melhania - Melochia - Meximalva - Microcos - Modiola - Modiolastrum - Mollia - Monteiroa - Napaea - Nayariophyton - Neobaclea - Neobrittonia - Neobuchia - Neoregnellia - Nototriche - Ochroma - Octolobus - Pachira - Palaua - Paradombeya - Paramelhania - Patinoa - Pavonia - Peltaea - Pentace - Pentapetes - Pentaplaris - Periptera - Perrierophytum - Phragmocarpidium - Phragmotheca - Phymosia - Plagianthus - Pseudabutilon - Pseudobombax - Pseudocorchorus - Pterocymbium - Pterospermum - Pterygota - Quararibea - Radyera - Rayleya - Reevesia - Rhodognaphalon - Rhynchosida - Robinsonella - Rojasimalva - Ruizia - Rulingia - Scaphium - Scaphopetalum - Schoutenia - Scleronema - Senra - Septotheca - Seringia - Sicrea - Sida - Sidalcea - Sidasodes - Sidastrum - Sparrmannia - Sphaeralcea - Spirotheca - Sterculia - Symphyochlamys - Tahitia - Talipariti - Tarasa - Tetralix - Tetrasida - Theobroma - Thespesia - Thomasia - Tilia - Trichospermum - Triplochiton - Triumfetta - Trochetia - Trochetiopsis - Uladendron - Ungeria - Urena - Vasivaea - Vinticena - Waltheria - Wercklea - Wissadula

Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Malvaceae on Wikimedia Commons.

Simple English

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae


Malvaceae is a family of flowering plants. The family includes about 1000 species in 75 genera. They are found in tropical and temperate regions.

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