Sphaeralcea grossulariifolia is variable and may include Sphaeralcea fumariensis, Sphaeralcea. gierischii, and Sphaeralcea moorei. Material of the latter taxa is limited and although select specimens can be attributed to each, the full morphological range of S. Grossulariifolia can readily include these other taxa[
Sphaeralcea species are somewhat difficult to identify. The species boundaries are not always sharp because there is frequent hybridization, polyploidy, and morphological variation in response to environmental conditions, particularly rainfall. Plants growing in Arizona are particularly difficult to identify[
Malvastrum coccineum grossulariifolium (Hook. & Arn.) Torr.
Malvastrum grossulariifolium (Hook. & Arn.) A.Gray
Sida grossulariifolia Hook. & Arn.
Sphaeralcea pedata Torr. ex A.Gray
Common Name: Goosebery-leaf Globemallow
Sphaeralcea grossulariifolia is a herbaceous perennial plant, producing a few to many erect stems from a deep, branched woody rootstock; it usually grows 60 - 100cm tall but is occasionally no more than 20cm[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental in gardens.
The hairs on the leaves can cause irritation to some people[
Western N. America - Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizone, New Mexico
Dry, volcanic, rocky or sandy soil, growing in salt desert shrub, shadscale and saltbush plant communities. It is also found in the drier portions of sagebrush and pinyon-juniper plant communities ; at elevations from 100 - 2,000 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Sphaeralcea grossulariifolia is well adapted to arid and semi-arid environments, growing in areas receiving as little as 150 - 300mm of rainfall a year[
]. It is tolerant of very low winter temperatures but, like many species with downy leaves, it is not very tolerant of winter wet and will often fail to overwinter in mild but wet winter areas[
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil, growing in both clay and gravelly soils[
]. It is moderately alkali (saline to sodic) tolerant[
The roots are chewed or boiled with cactus root (no specific name) and used to treat difficult defecation[
The root is chewed or boiled for broken bones[
]. (Presumably made into a poultice[
The plant is used to treat babies with bowel problems[
Sphaeralcea species are good sources of mucilage in the form of mucopolysaccharide starches. This has been shown to stimulate macrophage activity and help promote healing and resistance, especially in the skin, upper intestinal tract, urinary tract and lungs[
The whole plant is demulcent and emollient[
]. Taken internally, it can be used to soothe sore throats and irritations along the digestive tract, urinary tract etc. Applied externally, it can be used to soothe and promote healing of cuts, burns, wounds etc[
The plant is a rich source of mucilage. An infusion is often used as a hair rinse after shampooing, when it is said to give the hair body. A strong infusion will curl the hair if it is not rinsed out[
The juice of the plant is made into a paste and mixed with clay when making pots[
Seed - it has a hard seed coat and benefits from either autumn sowing or scarification of stored seed[
]. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing.
Softwood cuttings in a frame in early summer[