Callirhoe alcaeoides (Michx.) A. Gray

Callirhoe alcaeoides plant

Family - Malvaceae

Stems - To +50cm tall, erect, herbaceous, from thickened roots, typically multiple from base, branching, scabrous with appressed 4-rayed hairs, the hairs running parallel to the axis of the stem.

Leaves - Alternate, petiolate, stipulate, antrorse appressed pubescent. Stipules ovate, 5-6mm long, 3mm broad, ciliate-margined but otherwise glabrous to sparse pubescent. Petioles of cauline leaves typically shorter than the leaf blades or absent. Lowest leaves ovate, lobed to unlobed, crenate-serrate, +/-5cm long, +/-4cm broad. Upper leaves typically 5-7 palmately divided. Ultimate leaf divisions linear to oblong.

Callirhoe alcaeoides leavesUpper and lower leaves respectively.

Inflorescence - Flowers typically solitary from the upper leaf axils but also in short racemes or corymbs. Peduncles to +7cm long, appressed pubescent.

Flowers - Corolla 2.5-3cm broad, pinkish to whitish. Petals 5, united at base and connate with stamen column, truncate at slightly fimbriate at apex, to +/-1.5cm long, +/-1cm broad, glabrous. Stamen column -1cm long(tall). Filaments and anthers whitish. Style branches apparent after anthers are spent, white. Ovary of 10-15 carpels. Calyx campanulate, 5-lobed, antrorse appressed pubescent. Calyx tube to 5mm long. Lobes acuminate, +5mm long, alternating with petals, 3mm broad at base.

Callirhoe alcaeoides plantCalyx.

Flowering - May - August.

Habitat - Prairies, grassy fields, waste ground, open woods, roadsides.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This species is a small, non-striking plant, but the flowers are nice. The plant can be found in scattered counties throughout Missouri. The flowers may often appear whitish but always seem to have at least a tinge of pink to them. This species prefers to grow in areas of full sun.

Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 6-9-00.