see it


Sphaeralcea ambigua     
Globe mallow   
Malvaceae Family     

Compiled by the Master Gardeners
of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension.


Globe mallow
Sphaeralcea ambigua
Form: loose, shrubby, herbaceous perennial; stems form open vase
Seasonality: perennial
Size: 3ft, spread with age to 2-3ft
Leaves: gray-green, pubescent, deeply lobed; number of lobes varies (usually 3-5) as does serration
Flowers: small cup-shaped flower along upright stems; orange, red, purple or white
Fruit: brown capsule containing numerous dark seeds
Stems/Trunks: stems originate from center point of plant
Range/Origin: southwest US; officially to elevation of 3500ft, but known to naturalize up to 5000ft or more
Hardiness: below 32°F

close-up of leaf LANDSCAPE VALUE:
  • revegetation
  • perennial groupings (best in back)
  • containers
seed pods
leaf detail dry seed pods



number of stems on plant increases with age
the leaf fuzziness is an irritant to some people
in revegitative seed mixes, use low concentrations of Sphaeralcea ambigua because it tends to take over

flower spike pink flowers
orange flowers

views of blooms on
Sphaeralcea ambigua

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This page was first created August 15, 2001 and last modified June 1, 2006.

Web page design and photographs by Toni Moore, Master Gardener
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