Sphaeralcea laxa Wooton & Standl. -- Description
Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 36(2): 108–109. 1909. Caliche globemallow. Loose or open.
Plants: Perennial subshrubs.
Stems: To 90 cm, usually less than 60 cm.
Leaves: Cleft to parted, bases truncate to cordate
Inflorescences: Few-flowered, often with several longer branches, usually throughout.
Flowers: Orange to orange-red, anthers dark puple.
Fruit/Carpels: Reticualte part of carpel 1/3-2/3 of whole and distinct, apex rounded, cuspidate, mucronate.
Distribution and Habitat
Southeastern Califronia, Arizona, New Mexico, and northern Sonora. This species is preponderantly a desert plant, often preferring calcareous soils. Kearney notes that there are apparent hybrids with S. fendleri in the Chiricahua mountains of Cochise County. More recent collections and observations from this same mountain range indicate that S. laxa also occurs there at altitudes above 2,500 meters without any morphological indication of hybridization.