Kashmir Mallow
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Kashmir Mallow
ative Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Kashmir Mallow
Botanical name: Lavatera cachemiriana    Family: Malvaceae (Mallow family)

Kashmir Mallow is a beautiful plant, endemic to Kashmir, which forms a large bush of slightly fuzzy ivy shaped leaves. Medium-sized single funnel-shaped flowers are produced from midsummer through fall in a clear pink shade. Leaves are round in outline, 3-10 cm long, 3-7 cm broad, flat or slightly heart-shaped at base, toothed, upper surface with simple, fascicled or stellate hairs, lower surface densely stellate hairy. Leaves are 3-7 angled or palmately cut to partite - lobes are ovate or lanceolate, pointed or blunt, middle lobe longest. Stipules are linear-lanceshaped, 0.5-1 cm long about 2 mm broad. Leaf-stalks are 2-4 cm long. Flowers are borne singly in leaf axils, on stalks 3-6 cm long jointed near the tip. False sepals are 3, fused below the middle, 0.9-1.3 cm long, broadly ovate-circular, mucronate, accrescent in fruit. Sepal cup is slightly longer than to twice the length of false-sepal, fused to the middle. Sepals are triangular to deltoid, pointed or long-pointed, accrescent in fruit. Flowers are 4-8 cm across, pink-lilac, petals 3-5 cm long, 2-3.5 cm broad, obovate or oblong-obovate, deeply notched, up to 4 cm long and densely hairy at base. Staminal tube 8-13 mm long, and densely hairy at base. Fruit is discoid, 1-1.5 cm across. Kashmir Mallow is found on Sunny slopes, wet meadows in the Himalayas in Kashmir, at altitudes 500-2200 m.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Gulmarg, Kashmir.

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