Synonyms: Other names: mallow-leaf ninebark Nomenclature: malvaceus = like Malva (leaves) Nativity / Invasiveness: Montana native plant
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General: spreading to erect shrub 50-100 cm tall, the branches angled, arching, with brown, shredding bark, hairless or with minute, star-shaped hairs.
Leaves: alternate, the stalks slender, 1-3 cm long. Leaf blades ovate to cordate, 3- or 5-lobed less than half the length and again irregularly double-toothed, rounded to pointed at tip, 2-6 cm long and nearly as broad, sparsely with star-shaped hairs to hairless and dark green above, paler and usually copiously covered with star-shaped hairs on the lower surface.
Flowers: several in small, dense, round clusters. Calyx finely covered with star-shaped hairs, the 5 lobes ovate-lanceolate, about 3 mm long, somewhat bent back. Petals 5, white, round, about 4 mm long. Stamens about 30, equal to or longer than the petals. Pistils usually 2, sometimes 3, the styles about equaling the stamens.
Fruits: follicles, in pairs, reddish, fuzzy, about 5 mm long, ovate, flattened, keeled, with erect styles, joined on the lower half.
Canyon bottoms and rocky hillsides to ponderosa pine and Douglas fir forest, in w. and c. parts of MT. Also from s.c. B.C. and Alberta to WA, OR, WY and UT.
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