Apricot Mallow

Common Names:
Apricot Mallow, Apricot Globemallow, Desert Mallow
Scientific name:
Sphaeralcea ambigua var. ambigua
Subspecies | Variants:
Sphaeralcea angustifolia, Sphaeralcea coulteri, Sphaeralcea emoryi, Sphaeralcea rusbyi
Elevation range:
<4,000 ft.
Flowering Months:
March, April, May, June
Height | Length:
2-4 ft.
Life Cycle | Lifeform:
Perennial, Shrub
Ancestral Usage:
food, medicinal
State Occurrences:
Desert region:
Chihuahuan, Mojave, Sonoran

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Apricot Mallow in the desert

Sphaeralcea ambigua blooms early in the low desert. Just outside Coyote Canyon, Anza Borrego Desert State Park | February 2014    

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Apricot Mallow in the desert

Sphaeralcea ambigua leaves are quite unique. Note the stellate (star-shaped) hairs on the surface. |  March 2015   

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Apricot Mallow in the desert

Sphaeralcea ambigua has a soft, downy stem. You can see why it is called Globemallow in this photo. Lucerne Valley | April 2014    

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Apricot Mallow in the desert

Closeup of Sphaeralcea ambigua, Pioneertown, CA | March 2011     

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Apricot Mallow in the desert

Sphaeralcea ambigua is a perennial plant (sub-shrub), here with a Joshua Tree as a fine backdrop,  Pipes Canyon, CA | May 20, 2010    

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Apricot Mallow in the desert

Sphaeralcea ambigua, in Blackbrush Scrub community with Desert Live Forever, Pioneertown, CA | May 2010     

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Apricot Mallow in the desert

Sphaeralcea ambigua with pollinator beetle, southern Mojave Desert | March 27, 2015   

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Apricot Mallow  in the desert

Sphaeralcea ambigua closeup showing leaves, buds and reproductive parts, Quartzsite, AZ | March 14, 2013    

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Apricot Mallow  in the desert

Sphaeralcea ambigua just beginning to bloom in Quartzsite, AZ | March 2013     

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Apricot Mallow  in the desert

Sphaeralcea ambigua blooming profusely in area burned four years prior, Rimrock, CA | May 2010     

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Apricot Mallow in the desert

Sphaeralcea ambigua native pollinator covered in--what else--pollen, Pipes Canyon, CA | April 2015   

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Apricot Mallow in the desert

Sphaeralcea ambigua with unknown insects, Mojave Desert | March 2015