The Kearnemalvastrum Page

Kearnemalvastrum lacteum (Ait.) D.M. Bates
Kearnemalvastrum subtriflorum (Lag.) D.M. Bates

The genus Kearnemalvastrum was erected in D.M. Bates in 1967. It contains two species, both originally described as species of Malva and subsequently placed in Malvastrum. They are found at relatively high altitudes in Mexico and Central America.

They have a chromosome count of 32, and are presumably tetraploids (x=8).

Kearnemalvastrum lacteum is found in Mexico and Guatemala. It is a branched subshrub growing to 1 to 3 metres in height. The leaf blades are 4 to 10 cm long, 3-7–palmately lobed, acute at the apex, truncate or cordate at the base, crenate, and either stellate-pubescent or glabrescent. The petiole is 2/3 of the length of the blades; the lanceolate stipules are 4-5 mm. long.

Kearnemalvastrum lacteum flowers mostly in autumn and early winter. The inflorescence is paniculate. The flowers are small. They are involucellate, with 3 short (2-3.5 mm long) linear bracteoles. The calyx is 5–lobed, the sepals being 5-7 mm. long. The petals are white, and 4-7.5 mm long. The staminal column is pale, conical, and shorter than the petals. There are 10-13 style arms with capitate stigmas. The fruit is a blackish schizocarp, about 5 mm in diameter, composed of 10-13 unornamented, glabrous, single-seeded mericarps.

Synonyms of Kearnemalvastrum lacteum are Malva lactea Ait., Malva vitifolia Cav., Malvastrum lacteum (Ait.) Garcke, Malvastrum vitifolium (Cav.) Hemsl. and Sphaeralcea vitifolia Spach.

Kearnemalvastrum subtriflorum is found in Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and southern Mexico.

Synonyms of Kearnemalvastrum subtriflorum include Malva subtriflora Lag., Malveopsis subtriflora Kuntze and Malvastrum subtriflorum (Lag.) Hemsl.