Thursday, 28 June 2018

Watch out for hybrid Mallows!

Malva moschata
Image courtesy of John Crellin/ Floral Images
http://www.floralimages.co.uk/
page.php?taxon=malva_moschata,1
This summer, botanist Mike Wilcox is asking us to look out for hybrid Mallows.

Mike says: "Malva moschata (Musk Mallow) is a frequent plant. 

"In Clive Stace's New Flora of the British Isles (2010), he mentions that there are possible hybrids with M. alcea (Hollyhock mallow) that arise in gardens. 

"Anyone seeing M. moschata: please could you send a flowering specimen with the relevant details. 

"If you do see the introduced M. alcea, a specimen would be useful. 

Malva alcea
Image courtesy of John Crellin/ Floral Images
http://www.floralimages.co.uk/
page.php?taxon=malva_alcea,1
"Preferably fresh/flowering or fruiting if later."

A reminder of how Clive Stace separates these two species: 

M. moschata has epicalyx segments more than three times as long as wide, compared to M. alcea which has epicalyx-segments less than three times as long as wide. 

Also, M. moschata has simple hairs on the calyx, epicalyx and flower-stalk, whereas M. alcea has many stellate (star-shaped) hairs. 

Please send specimens to: 

Michael Wilcox – 43 Roundwood Glen, Greengates, Bradford BD10 0HW, W Yorkshire. 

Or email him: michaelpw22@hotmail.com