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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Family Malvaceae - PART 1

The Plant Family Malvaceae also known as the Mallow family contains a number of plants that are no doubt familiar to many who live in the Pacific Region as well as those who have been in the region. The most common or popular being the ever present and colourful hibiscus which comes in an astonishing variety of colours, shapes and sizes.

However, among the members of this family are some which hold a few surprises either in that people do not realise that they are closely related to the hibiscus such as the Beach Hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus) which to most appears to treelike to be belong to the same genus.
Beach Hibiscus,  Hibiscus tiliaceus

Binomial Name: Hibiscus tiliaceus
Common names: Beach Hibiscus, Sea Hibiscus, Coastal Hibiscus, Coast Hibiscus, Cottonwood, Green Cottonwood, Native Hibiscus, Native Rosella, Cottonwood Hibiscus, Kurrajong, Sea Rosemallow, Norfolk Hibiscus  (English); Fau (Samoan); Hau (Hawaiian); Purau (Tahitian)
Taxonomy: Unranked: Angiosperms – Unranked:  Eudicots –  Unranked: Rosids –   Order: Malavales– Family: Malvaceae – Genus: Hibiscus – Species: H. tiliaceus

Then there is the Sleeping Hibiscus, Malvaviscus pendiflorus which although it belongs to the same family is actually from a different genus altogether.
Sleeping Hibiscus, Malvaviscuc penduliflorus

Binomial Name: Malvaviscuc penduliflorus  
Common names: turk’s cap, Turk’s Cap Mallow, Sleeping Hibiscus, Ladies Teardrop, Wax mallow and Mazapan  (English) Aute(Samoan)
Taxonomy: Unranked: Angiosperms – Unranked:  Eudicots –  Unranked: Rosids – Order:  Malvales – Family: Malvaceae – Subfamily: Malvoideae – Tribe: Hibisceae –Genus –Malvaviscus - Species: Malvaviscus penduliflorus  
Other species: Malvaviscus arboreu,. Malvaviscus palmanus
NOTE: Plant this if you want to attract hummingbirds or other honeyeaters to your garden.

Then there is the Common Hollyhock,Alcea rosea  which closely resembles the common hibiscus in the structure and appearance of its flowers although its seed pods and the whole plant structure as well as the way in which the flowers are presented is distinctly different.

Common Hollyhock, Alcea rosea

Common Hollyhock, Alcea rosea
Binomial Name: Alcea rosea
Common names: Common Hollyhock  (English) ?(Samoan)
Taxonomy: Unranked: Angiosperms – Unranked:  Eudicots –  Unranked: Rosids – Order:  Malvales – Family: Malvaceae –Genus –Alcea - Species: Alcea rosea
Other species: Alcea biennis (Biennial Hollyhock)

Another strange character in the Malvaceae family is the Rose Mallow, Hibiscus syriacus  or Rose of Sharon (an name it shares with another plant  Jerusalem star, Hypericum calycinum)
Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus

Binomial Name: Hibiscus syriacus
Taxonomy: Phylum: Angiosperms– Class: Eudicots –  Unranked: Rosids   Order: Malavales– Family: Malvaceae – Genus: Hibiscus – Species: H. Syriacus
Common names: Rose of Sharon, Rose Mallow, St Jospeh’s rod (English); Hibiscus syriacus (French); Rosa de Siria (Spanish); Ibisco cinese (Italian) Tuinhibiscus (Dutch); Straucheibisch, Scharonrose, Syrischer Eibisch, Garteneibisch, Festblume(German)

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