Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
New Mexico Checker-mallow
Sidalcea neomexicana Gray
- Family: Mallow (Malvaceae)
- Flowering: May-August
- Field Marks: This handsome species is distinguished by its purple flowers, its hairy leaf surfaces, and its usually glaucous stems and leaves.
- Habitat: Wet meadows in the mountains.
- Habit: Perennial herb with a thickened rootstock.
- Stems: Upright, up to 2 1/2 feet tall, smooth or hairy, usually glaucous.
- Leaves: Basal and alternate hairy, orbicular, sometimes glaucous, up to 3 inches across, the basal leaves 5- to 9-lobed, with rounded teeth on the lobes, the upper leaves deeply 3- to 5-parted.
- Flowers: Several in a raceme, subtended by bracts 1/4-1/2 inch long; flower stalks smooth to hairy.
- Sepals: 5, green, united below, 1/6-1/4 inch long, hairy, the teeth pointed.
- Petals: 5, purple, free from each other, 1/2-3/4 inch long.
- Stamens: Numerous on a central column.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: 5- to 9-parted, up to 1/8 inch long, tipped with a hairy beak.
- Notes: This species is sometimes grown as an ornamental because of its large, handsome flowers. The petals may be various shades of purple.
Previous Species -- Arrow-leaf Groundsel (Senecio triangularis)
Return to Species List -- Group 8
Next Species -- Oregon Checker-mallow (Sidalcea oregana )