| Sphaeralcea, Mallows, Encelia farinosa, Baileya multiradiata, Encelia|
Sphaeralcea ambigua, commonly known as desert globemallow or apricot mallow, is a member of the genus Sphaeralcea in the mallow family (Malvaceae).
It is a perennial shrub native to parts of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico in the U.S.; and Sonora and Baja California in Northwest Mexico. It grows well in alkaline soil, both sandy or clay, usually in the company of creosote bush scrub and desert chaparral habitats, from 150–2,500 metres (490–8,200 ft) in elevation. It is found in the Mojave Desert, Great Basin deserts, and Sonoran Desert ecoregions.
Sphaeralcea ambigua Wikipedia
The Sphaeralcea ambigua plant grows to 3 feet (0.91 m) in height, and spreads to 2–3 feet (0.61–0.91 m) in width. The leaves (see image) are fuzzy with white hairs on both sides, lobed, palmately veined, and on long stems, the number of which increase with age. The fruit is a brown capsule containing numerous seeds, first quite spherical as implied by the genus name, later flattening to a disk (see lowest image). The flowers are bowl-shaped, 5-petaled, apricot to orange in color, and bloom in the spring.
Sphaeralcea ambigua has eight to nine named varieties.
Sphaeralcea ambigua A. Gray var. ambigua
Sphaeralcea ambigua A. Gray var. aculeata Jeps. (synonym for S. a. var. ambigua)
Sphaeralcea ambigua A. Gray var. rosacea (Munz & I.M. Johnst.) Kearney
Sphaeralcea ambigua A. Gray var. rugosa (Kearney) Kearney
The plant was used by members of the Shoshoni tribe of Native Americans as a food source and medicinal plant.
Sphaeralcea ambigua is cultivated as an ornamental plant by specialty plant nurseries for use in desert and drought tolerant gardens, and a native plant its desert region's natural landscaping and habitat restoration projects.Cultural Requirements
Exposure: full sun
Water: natural rainfall; supplemental water will increase flowering
Soil: desert soil, tolerant of some clay, prefers good drainage
Propagation: easy by seed; tricky by vegetative cuttings, best results from first flush of new spring growth
Maintenance: low, periodically cut back to keep vegetative look