Plant: perennial herb; trailing stems with a mixture of stellate hairs and lepidote scales Leaves: triangular, acute, irregularly dentate, 1-2 cm long Flowers: solitary in leaf axils; with the pedicel subequal to the corresponding leaf; involucel usually absent; calyx 6-8 mm long, lepidote; petals 12-15 mm long Fruit: FRUITS an oblate schizocarp, 5-6 mm diameter; mericarps ca. 7, dorsally rounded; SEEDS solitary, glabrous Misc: Usually in heavy, saline soils on roadsides or mud flats; 1350-1700 m (4500-5500 ft); flowering throughout the year REFERENCES: Fryxell, Paul A. 1994. Malvaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 27(2), 222-236.
Martin and Hutchins 1980, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Decumbent to prostrate perennial 20-40 cm long, with densely silvery-lepidote to scalelike stellate hairs. Leaves: Triangular-ovate or triangular-lanceolate, 20-40 mm long, sinuate-dentate, acute to acuminate at the apex, not hastate at the base, densely scurfy-stellate. Flowers: Lower pedicels often elongate and deflexed incurved in fruit; calyx 4-8 mm long, lobes acuminate, subtending bractlets absent, petals white to achroleucous, 10-12 mm long. Fruits: Carpels rounded and dehiscent at the apex, 8-9 per flower. Ecology: Found on dry soils from 1,000-6,000 ft (305-1829 m); flowers April-October. Notes: Distinctive with its triangular-ovate, dentate and barely hastate leaves, covered in dense silvery lepidote hairs. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Malvella is a diminutive of Malva meaning little malva, while lepidota is from lepis, scale and the suffix ota, indicating possession, so having small scurfy scales. Synonyms: Sida lepidota, S. leprosa var. depauperata Editor: SBuckley, 2010