Sphaeralcea coulteri (S. Watson) A. Gray -- Description
Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 22(2): 291. 1887. Coulter's globemallow, annual globemallow. After Thomas Coulter.
Stems: To 150 cm, often decumbent-ascending causing the plant to have a characteristic basket shape.
Leaves: Un-lobed, shallowly lobed, or cleft, about as long as wide, truncate to cordate
Inflorescences: Few to many flowered, narrow, sometimes with longer branches at base.
Flowers: Orange or red-orange
Fruit/Carpels: Fruit oblate; carpel with reticulate part almost always black in maturity and comprising 2/3 or more of the whole.
Distribution and Habitat
Mostly desert plants of southwestern Arizona deserts, extreme southeastern California, Baja California, Baja California Sur, and Sonora. S. coulteri is found in Sonoran desertscrub in both the U. S. and Mexico, and in Sinaloan thornscub in Sonora as well.
These plants bear a remarkable resemblence to Eremalche exilis except for the fruit. There are only two short-lived Sphaeralcea, S. coulteri and S. orcuttii. Both have fruit that tend to be oblate with much reduced dehiscent parts in the carples. The carpels S. coulteri are almost exclusively black in the reticulate part, and those of S. orcutti are often black or darkened in the same way. Fruit of Eremalche exilis are also black.