Collecting data on local Malvas (May 2022)

There seem to be a lot of misidentifications of Malvas in the San Francisco Bay Area. I'm on a mission to learn as much as I can about these plants and help identify the observations for our area. I've been posting many observations of Malvas in the South Bay, hopefully with enough evidence for proper identification. In most cases I'm taking measurements either with a ruler or millimeter grid paper.

I've created an umbrella project with subprojects for each species in our area:
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/malva-species-san-francisco-bay-area

As I gather more info, I'll create a "How to Identify..." journal post for each species along with "How to differentiate..." sections for similar species and references to Calflora, Jepson, and others.

Some things I've noticed:

  • Malva multiflora (Cretan mallow) tends to grow near the Bay and waterways (e.g. Calabazas Creek).
  • Malva parviflora (Cheeseweed mallow) and M. nacaeensis (Bull mallow) can be seen all along the trails at Ed. Levin County Park. They are very small plants and sometimes look the same until you inspect them closely. Some of these plants I could hold in the palm of my hand they're so small.
  • Malva assurgentiflora (Island mallow) and M. subovata ssp. bicolor (Sea mallow) are mostly cultivated. There's an established population of M. assurgentiflora at Shoreline. Is it wild or cultivated? There are several M. assurgentiflora at Ulistac Natural Area, but they were planted by humans.
Posted on November 07, 2022 06:44 PM by truthseqr truthseqr

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