Flora of China
  FOC Vol.12 (2007)              | Family List  Malvaceae  PDF     | Link Font:+ Big | - Small
   10. Malvaceae  A. L. Jussieu
锦葵科   jin kui ke
Authors:Tang Ya (唐亚); Michael G. Gilbert, Laurence J. Dorr


Herbs, shrubs, or less often trees; indumentum usually with peltate scales or stellate hairs. Leaves alternate, stipulate, petiolate; leaf blade usually palmately veined, entire or various lobed. Flowers solitary, less often in small cymes or clusters, axillary or subterminal, often aggregated into terminal racemes or panicles, usually conspicuous, actinomorphic, usually bisexual (unisexual in Kydia). Epicalyx often present, forming an involucre around calyx, 3- to many lobed. Sepals 5, valvate, free or connate. Petals 5, free, contorted, or imbricate, basally adnate to base of filament tube. Stamens usually very many, filaments connate into tube; anthers 1-celled. Pollen spiny. Ovary superior, with 2-25 carpels, often separating from one another and from axis; ovules 1 to many per locule; style as many or 2 × as many as pistils, apex branched or capitate. Fruit a loculicidal capsule or a schizocarp, separating into individual mericarps, rarely berrylike when mature (Malvaviscus); carpels sometimes with an endoglossum (a crosswise projection from back wall of carpel to make it almost completely septate. Seeds often reniform, glabrous or hairy, sometimes conspicuously so.

About 100 genera and ca. 1000 species: tropical and temperate regions of N and S Hemisphere; 19 genera (four introduced) and 81 species (24 endemic, 16 introduced) in China.

Molecular studies have shown that the members of the Bombacaceae, Malvaceae, Sterculiaceae, and Tiliaceae form a very well-defined monophyletic group that is divided into ten also rather well-defined clades, only two of which correspond to the traditional families Bombacaceae and Malvaceae. Some of the remaining groups are included entirely within either of the remaining families but others cut across the traditional divide between the Sterculiaceae and Tiliaceae. A majority of authors, most notably Bayer and Kubitzki (Fam. Gen. Vasc. Pl. 5: 225-311. 2003), has favored including everything within a greatly enlarged Malvaceae, and treating the individual clades as subfamilies. The alternative view is that the individual clades should be treated as a series of ten families: Bombacaceae (Bombacoideae), Brownlowiaceae (Brownlowioideae), Byttneriaceae (Byttnerioideae), Durionaceae (Durionoideae), Helicteraceae (Helicteroideae), Malvaceae (Malvoideae), Pentapetaceae (Dombeyoideae), Sparrmanniaceae (Grewioideae), Sterculiaceae (Sterculioideae), and Tiliaceae (Tilioideae) (Cheek in Heywood et al., Fl. Pl. Fam. World. 201-202. 2007). For the present treatment, we prefer to retain the familiar, traditional four families, so as to maintain continuity with the treatments in FRPS, and to await a consensus on the two alternative strategies for dealing with the very widely accepted clades.

The traditional Malvaceae coincides exactly with one of the major clades. The only possible problem is the relationship with the Bombacaceae, which also has primarily 1-loculed anthers, and some authorities have suggested that the Bombacaceae should be included within the Malvaceae.

Members of the Malvaceae are important as fiber crops (particularly cotton, Gossypium). Young leaves of many species can be used as vegetables, and species of Abelmoschus and Hibiscus are grown as minor food crops. Many species have attractive flowers and an ever-increasing selection is grown as ornamentals. Several have been cultivated for a very long time, particularly species of Hibiscus, and some of these are not known in the wild.

Feng Kuo-mei. 1984. Malvaceae. In: Feng Kuo-mei, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 49(2): 1-102.

1Fruit a loculicidal capsule; ovary with 3-5(or 10) fused carpels; style branches as many as ovary locules; filament tube with anthers inserted along length, apex 5-toothed or truncate, very rarely with anthers(2)
+Fruit a schizocarp, sometimes berrylike (Malvaviscus), carpels separating into separate mericarps; filament tube with anthers inserted along length or only at apex(7)
2(1)Ovary and capsule 6-10-loculed(3)
+Ovary and capsule 3-5-loculed(4)
3(2)Epicalyx lobes 10-11, very slender; style branches 6-10; capsule valves both loculicidal and septicidal, falling off at maturity; seeds 1 per locule.16  Decaschistia    十裂葵属
+Epicalyx lobes 4, leaflike; style with 10 sessile stigmas; capsule valves loculicidal only, persistent; seeds several per locule.17  Cenocentrum    大萼葵属
4(2)Style branched; epicalyx 5-12(-20)-lobed, rarely absent (Hibiscus lobatus); seeds reniform, rarely globose(5)
+Style not branched; epicalyx 3-5-lobed; seeds obovoid or angular(6)
5(4)Calyx splitting asymmetrically at anthesis, caducous; capsule long and sharp-angled; seeds glabrous and smooth.14  Abelmoschus    秋葵属
+Calyx symmetrically 5-lobed or 5-toothed, persistent; capsule usually cylindrical to globose, rarely winged (H. yunnanensis); seeds hairy or glandular verrucose.15  Hibiscus    木槿属
6(4)Trees or shrubs, not gland-dotted; epicalyx lobes 0.2-1 cm, subulate to lanceolate, caducous.18  Thespesia    桐棉属
+Herbs or shrubs, usually conspicuously gland-dotted; epicalyx lobes 2-5 cm, triangular to ovate-cordate in outline, persistent.19  Gossypium    棉属
7(1)Filament tube with anthers inserted along sides, apex 5-dentate or truncate; style branches ca. 2 × as many as carpels(8)
+Filament tube with anthers inserted at apex; style branches as many as carpels(9)
8(7)Epicalyx 5-lobed; petals 1-2.5(-3.5) cm, pink or white; mature mericarps usually with barbed spines.12  Urena    梵天花属
+Epicalyx 7-12-lobed; petals 2.5-5 cm, crimson red; mature fruit smooth, berrylike, breaking up into mericarps when dry.13  Malvaviscus    悬铃花属
9(7)Epicalyx absent; corollas yellow, orange, or red; usually herbs or shrubs, to 3 m(10)
+Epicalyx present, 3-9-lobed; corollas often not yellow(13)
10(9)Carpels (3-)5, divided into 2 locules by a constriction with a transverse septum, apex beaked.7  Wissadula    隔蒴苘属
+Carpels (5-)7-20, not constricted, apex obtuse, acute, or 2-awned(11)
11(10)Ovules 1 per locule; mericarps often indehiscent.6  Sida    黄花稔属
+Ovules 2 or more per locule; mericarps eventually dehiscent(12)
12(11)Mature mericarps not swollen, apex rounded, acute, or 2-fid, wall leathery; petals usually more than 1 cm (ca. 0.6 cm in A. guineense var. forrestii).8  Abutilon    苘麻属
+Mature mericarps inflated, apex rounded, not beaked, wall thin, membranous; petals 0.6-1 cm.9  Herissantia    泡果苘属
13(9)Fruit indehiscent, with spreading persistent epicalyx lobes; carpels 2 or 3; trees or shrubs, 5-20 m(14)
+Fruit dehiscent at least when old, epicalyx lobes not spreading; carpels (5-)8-25; herbs or subshrubs, 0.25-3 m(15)
14(13)Panicles 20-30-flowered; flowers unisexual; petals reddish or light purple; style branches 3; fruit dehiscent.10  Kydia    翅果麻属
+Panicles 2-5-flowered; flowers bisexual; petals white or yellow; style branches 2; fruit indehiscent.11  Nayariophyton    枣叶槿属
15(13)Epicalyx lobes 6-9(16)
+Epicalyx lobes 3(17)
16(15)Epicalyx lobes 6 or 7; carpels 2-celled, distal cell sterile; corolla 5-10 cm wide.3  Alcea    蜀葵属
+Epicalyx lobes 9; carpels 1-celled; corolla ca. 2.5 cm wide.4  Althaea    药葵属
17(15)Stigmas capitate; petals yellow.5  Malvastrum    赛葵属
+Stigmas filiform; petals pink, violet, purple, or red(18)
18(17)Corolla 0.6-5 cm wide; mericarps with lateral edges angular, walls adhering to seed.1  Malva    锦葵属
+Corolla 6-8 cm wide; mericarps with lateral edges rounded, walls separating readily from seed.2  Lavatera    花葵属
   List of lower taxa