Introduction to Malvaceae Info

Malvaceae Info is a de facto educational and research charity. It is my belief that the World Wide Web is a suitable vehicle to empower people by providing them with easier and greater access to information (pity about the quality control problem). For this to be achieved requires people or organisations to provide information. Malvaceae Info is part of my attempt to put something back into the web - I decided that there wasn't any great point with me providing software engineering pages, as there are many company sponsored pages available, with greater resources than I can provide . For other material provided see my home page.

I may in the future attempt to cover costs by partially commercialising the site, but if I should do so I would keep the commercial and informational parts separate.

Malvaceae Info started off as a page about the genus Lavatera, and has since grown. Its scope is the extended Malvaceae of the classification of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, incorporating the old Bombacaceae, Sterculiaceae and Tiliaceae. It is a work in progress, and does not, and will not for some considerable time, provide complete in depth coverage of the family.

Malvaceae Info is targeted at botanists, natural historians, horticulturalists and gardeners. I have not fully resolved the problem as how to address these disparate audiences within a single forum - if I include enough detail for botanists, the jargon will intimidate the average gardener.

Malvaceae Info is divided into a number of components.

A. The Malvaceae Gallery - a collection of images sorted by genus. The coverage here is constrained by which plants I have acquired digital photographs of, but provides a means of providing a modicum of information about genera for which I have not yet provided any other material. Currently included genera are Abelmoschus, Abutilon, Adansonia, Alcea, Althaea, Alyogyne, Anisodontea, Anoda, Asterotrichion, Bombax, Brachychiton, Callirhoe, Ceiba, Chiranthodendron, Cienfuegosia, Coelostegia Cola, Commersonia, Corchorus, Corynabutilon, Dombeya, Durio, Eriolaena, Fioria, Fremontodendron, Fuertesimalva, Gaya, Gossypium, Grewia, Gynatrix, Helicteres, Herissantia, Heritiera, Hermannia, Hibiscus, Hildegardia, Hoheria, Howittia, Humbertiella, Iliamna, Keraudrenia, Kitaibelia, Kosteletzkya, Krapovickasia, Lagunaria, Lasiopetalum, Lavatera, Lawrencia, Luehea, Macrostelia, Malacothamnus, Malope, Malva, Malvastrum, Malvaviscus, Megistostegium, Modiola, Modiolastrum, Napaea, Pachira, Pavonia, Peltaea, Pentapetes, Perrierophytum, Phymosia, Plagianthus, Radyera, Rulingia, Sida, Sidalcea, Sparrmannia, Sphaeralcea, Sterculia, Talipariti, Theobroma, Thespesia, Thomasia, Tilia, Trochetiopsis, Urena, Waltheria and Wercklea.

B. A hierarchical set of pages on the classification of the Malvaceae. When complete, these will resolve at the bottom into the following.

C. Detailed descriptions of each genus and its constituent species, and also infra-specific taxa and cultivars. Coverage of the genera is proceeding along several fronts.

  1. Coverage of the tribe Fremontodendreae is complete, including the fossil Florissantia.
  2. Coverage of the Australasian Plagianthus alliance, consisting of Plagianthus, Hoheria, Lawrencia, Asterotrichion and Gynatrix, is complete.
  3. The next target is to complete coverage of the principal clades found in Europe, that is the genus Malvella, the Eurasian Malvinae, consisting of Malva, Lavatera, Alcea, Althaea, Malope and Kitaibelia, and Tilieae, consisting of Tilia, Craigia and the fossil Cantitilia; although a single species of each of Abutilon, Hibiscus and Kosteletzkya is native to Europe these are large genera, and will be deferred until later.
  4. followed by the predominantly North American clades in Malvinae, consisting of Callirhoe, Napaea, Modiola and Modiolastrum, of Eremalche and Sidalcea, and of Iliamna, Malaccothamnus and Phymosia.
  5. followed the Australian Lasiopetaleae, consisting of Commersonia, Guichenotia, Hannafordia, Keraudrenia, Lasiopetalum, Lysiosepalum, Maxwellia, Rulingia, Seringia and Thomasia
  6. Elsewhere pages have been added on a number of small genera, which are Alyogyne, Entelea (which with Plagianthus and Hoheria comprises the native New Zealand malviflora), Eriolaena, Goethalsia, Hannafordia, Hildegardia, Howittia, Lagunaria, Macrostelia, Pentapetes, Thepparatia and Trochetiopsis. To these might be added the Kydia alliance, and the genera Anotea, Camptostemon, Corynabutilon, Clappertonia and Sparrmannia.
  7. "Notes" pages provide a small amount of information of some other genera, typically obscure genera for which other information is hard to come by. These currently cover Abelmoschus, Abroma, Acropogon, Acaulimalva, Adansonia, Andeimalva, Argyrodendron, Asteria, Billieturnera, Bordasia, Calyculogygas, Calyptraemalva, Ceiba, Cola, Coelostegia, Corchoropsis, Desplatsia, Dicarpidium, Franciscodendron, Fuertesimalva, Hibiscadelphus, Indagator, Jarandersonia, Kearnemalvastrum, Kokia, Melochia, Neobaclea, Neesia, Paradombeya, Pentaplaris, Pityranthe, Pterygota, Radyera, Ruizia, Septotheca, Sicrea, Uladendron, Ungeria and Waltheria.
  8. Partial information is provided for Corchorus and Hermannia, as a result of the reclassification of Oceanopapaver and Gilesia respectively within the genera (pages having previously been written for the latter genera), and for Hibiscus, to provide a host for an article on the classification of that genus.

D. Digital Herbarium - a collections of pages of detailed descriptions of individual plants, referred to from the pages for the corresponding genera, when available, and allowing the pages for the genera to be provided with less botanical detail and jargon.

E. Transcriptions of 18th and 19th century (out of copyright) botanical literature and a partial catalog of the fascimiles of that literature to be found in the Gallica project at the Bibliothecque Nationale de France.

F. Pages on the variety and terminology of plant anatomy together with a description of the anatomies found within Malvaceae, currenly restricted to material on the distribution of sexes in flowers, inflorescences, plants, populations and species.

G. Thematic pages. Currently these is a list of chromosome counts, a partial synonymy, some material on distribution, and an overview of the economic uses of plants of the family, but it is intended that material will be added here on economic (culinary, medicinal, horticultural, timber, etc.) uses, on the hazards provide by plants of the family, and so on. There is also a web directory.

H. Pages of notes on fossil material.

I. Information on vernacular names applies to members of the family.

J. An incomplete world checklist of the species of the family.

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© 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2014 Stewart R. Hinsley