MALVACEAE - Mallow Family

Herbs, shrubs and rarely trees

Leaves alternate, simple, palmately veined with stipules

Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic, often subtended by bracteoles, filaments united into a tube or column (monadelphous), infl. often cymose

Fruit a capsule or schizocarp

Seed with curved embryo, usually without endosperm, oily

75 genera, 1000 species

Economic importance: Gossypium is used to produce cotton fibers (seed hairs), cottonseed meal and oil; cotton has been cultivated for 5000 years; Althaea (marshmallow), Hibiscus (ornamentals), Abelmoschus (okra)

Diagnostic characteristics: monadelphous stamens, palmately veined leaves, pistil with many carpels