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Sphaeralcea coulteri (S. Watson) A. Gray

Coulter’s globemallow

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderMalvalesIncludes cacao, balsa, lime, linden, basswood, daphnes, hibiscus, hollyhocks, okra, baobab, cotton, kapok, and many others
FamilyMalvaceaeIncludes okra, jute, cacao, hibiscus, many others
GenusSphaeralceaFrom the Greek sphaira, “a globe,” and alcea, a related genus, referring to the spherical fruits, the common name of this genus being “globe-mallow”
SpeciescoulteriAfter Dr. Thomas Coulter (1793-1843), Irish botanist, physician, and explorer

About plant names...

Coulter's globe mallow is native to the Sonoran desert.

Identification: Plants reach 6-59″ (15-150 cm) on sprawling stems. Leaves are gray-green, soft, thin, with three or five rounded lobes with coarse teeth, ½-1¾″ (1.5-4.5 cm) long. Red-orange, white, or lavender flowers ⅜-¾″ (9.5-19 mm) long have five roughly trapezoidal petals. It blooms from March to April.

Sphaeralcea coulteri (Coulter’s globemallow)

Coulter’s globe mallow flowers, along with other mallows in this family of 1500 species, have filaments that are united into a tube in the center of the flower. Another common example is the hibiscus.

Online References:


The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Sonoran Desert Digital Library


The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center


The Jepson Manual

Sphaeralcea coulteri (Coulter’s globemallow)

5/22/2009 · Slide Rock State Park, Sedona, Ari­zona · ≈ 4 × 2½″ (10 × 7 cm)


Sphaeralcea coulteri description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Sphaeralcea coulteri (Coulter’s globemallow)

5/27/2009 · Canyon De Chelly, Chinle, Ari­zona

Sphaeralcea coulteri (Coulter’s globemallow)

5/20/2009 · Peach Springs, Ari­zona · ≈ 1½ × 1′ (51 × 34 cm)

Sphaeralcea coulteri (Coulter’s globemallow)

6/3/2009 · Kolob Canyons, Zion National Park, Utah · ≈ 4 × 2½″ (10 × 7 cm)


About this map...