PLANTS: Shrubs or subshrubs with stellate pubescence. LEAVES: ovate or lanceolate, dentate. FLOWERS: axillary or aggregated in terminal spikes or racemes; involucel trimerous; calyx 5-lobed; petals yellow or yellow-orange; styles slender, the stigmas capitellate. FRUITS: schizocarpic, oblate, pubescent or setose; mericarps horseshoe-shaped, indehiscent, sometimes 2-3-cuspidate. SEEDS: solitary, glabrous. NOTES: 14 spp., principally from the neotropics and subtropics, a few spp. occurring in Australia and Asia. (Malva + Greek asteros = star). Hill, S. R. 1982. Rhodora 84:1-83, 159-264, 317-409. REFERENCES: Fryxell, Paul A. 1994. Malvaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 27(2), 222-236.
Bractlets of the epicalyx 3, narrowly linear; cal-lobes broadly ovate, persistent; stamen-column bearing anthers at the summit; pet yellow; carpels 5-many, separating at maturity and in our sp. dehiscent, 1-seeded, at maturity conforming with the shape of the seed and not much larger than it, the distal and basal parts not differentiated; annual or perennial herbs with lanceolate to ovate, serrate but not lobed lvs, and small, short- pediceled fls solitary or fascicled in the upper axils. 14, New World.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.