Diversity: A family of 75 genera and over 1,000 species of herbs and shrubs that includes taxa domesticated for food (okra - Abelmoschus esculentus), fiber (cotton - Gossypium), and ornament (Hibiscus, hollyhock - Alcea)
Distribution: World wide, but most diverse in the tropics. The Texas flora includes 31 genera, 94 species, and 15 infraspecific taxa.
Significant features: Vegetative characters include a general palmate pattern of
structure (a 'subset' character relative to pinnate), mucilaginous sap
an epicalyx (many genera), and unusual,
complex trichomes. The androecium of the Malvaceae, with its
stamens, is a primary key character. This is supplemented by the
actinomorphic corolla that is basally adnate to the androecium.
syncarpous (or rarely monocarpic) gynoecium matures
to form either a capsule, a schizocarp (carpels separate as dispersal
no dehiscence), or - rarely - a berry.
|Hibiscus - with monadelphous stamens forming a tube through which the style emerges||Abutilon - palmate pattern of lef venation and lobing||Callirhoe involucrata - (wine cup) - epicalyx, calyx, and coroll|
|A hollyhock (Alcea rosea) with schizocarpic fruit.|
|A cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) capsule with and without comose seeds|
An exception, the baccate or berry-like fruit of local species Malvaviscus arboreus
More information on the Malvaceae