Arabian Swamp Mallow
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Arabian Swamp Mallow
P Native Photo: Lamb Christian
Common name: Arabian Swamp Mallow
Botanical name: Pavonia arabica    Family: Malvaceae (Mallow family)
Synonyms: Hibiscus microphyllus, Pavonia glandulosa, Hibiscus flavus

Arabian Swamp Mallow is an undershrub, up to 30 cm tall, velvet-hairy, usually intermingled with simple, spreading hairs. Unlike its name, it is a dweller of dry areas. Flowers arise singly in leaf-axils, on flower-stalk 1.5-2.5 cm long. False sepals are 10-12, very prominent, 1-1.5 cm long, linear, velvet-hairy and with long, simple, spreading hairs. Sepal-cup is 5-7 mm long, fused below the middle or sometimes to the middle, woolly, nerved; sepals lanceshaped, pointed. Flowers are 1-1.5 cm across, pink; petals about 1 cm long, 0.7 cm broad, obovate, rounded, claw hairy on the margin. Staminal tube about 6 mm long, included, hairless, filament present near the tip and at the base of tube, upper ones 1-2 mm long, lower ones 5-6 mm long. Leaves are oblong or oblong-ovate, 1-4.5 cm long, 0.7-3.5 cm broad, entire or toothed towards tip, blunt or apiculate, rounded or flat at base, velvet-hairy on both sides, scabrulous; stipule thread-like, 3-4 mm long; leaf-stalk 0.7-2 cm long. Fruits are nearly spherical, 7 mm across, vinous. Arabian Swamp Mallow is found among rocks and boulders of deserts and dry scrubs in NW India, Pakistan, Arabia and Ethiopia.

Identification credit: Rajkumar Yadav Photographed in Kachchh, Gujarat.

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