Sidalcea is a genus (approx. 25 species[1][2]) of the botanical family Malvaceae. It contains several species of flowering plants known generally as checkerblooms or checkermallows, or prairie mallows in the United Kingdom. They can be annuals or perennials, some rhizomatous. They are native to West and Central North America.

Sidalcea malachroides 4.jpg
Sidalcea malachroides
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Subfamily: Malvoideae
Tribe: Malveae
Genus: Sidalcea
A. Gray ex Benth.

See text

In mid- to late summer the clumps of toothed basal leaves produce erect flowering stems, with 5-petalled mallow-type flowers in terminal racemes, in shades of pink, white and purple.[3]

Sidalcea is generally diploid (2n = 20), but polyploidy (4n, 6n) also occurs.[1]

Annuality appears to have evolved multiple times (4+) within this genus, although an ancestral annual state with annual paraphyly is also possible. Further, evolution rates within annual Sidalcea lineages appear to be faster than those of perennial lineages, at least when examining nuclear ribosomal DNA (internal and external transcribed spacer regions).[1][2]

Selected species:

(A = annual, P = perennial[1])

Garden cultivars are hybrids between S. candida and S. malviflora. The cultivars "Elsie Heugh"[5] and "William Smith"[6] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[7]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Andreasen, Katarina; Baldwin, Bruce G. (2003-03-01). "Reexamination of relationships, habital evolution, and phylogeography of checker mallows (Sidalcea; Malvaceae) based on molecular phylogenetic data". American Journal of Botany. 90 (3): 436–444. doi:10.3732/ajb.90.3.436. ISSN 0002-9122. PMID 21659137.
  2. ^ a b Andreasen, K.; Baldwin, B. G. (2001-06-01). "Unequal evolutionary rates between annual and perennial lineages of checker mallows (Sidalcea, Malvaceae): evidence from 18S-26S rDNA internal and external transcribed spacers". Molecular Biology and Evolution. 18 (6): 936–944. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a003894. ISSN 0737-4038. PMID 11371581.
  3. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
  4. ^ "Sidalcea hirtipes C.L. Hitchc. hairy-stemmed checker-mallow" (PDF). Hitchcock 1957 referenced. Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved March 3, 2016.CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Sidalcea 'Elsie Heugh' AGM / RHS Gardening". Retrieved 2012-06-24.
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Sidalcea 'William Smith' AGM / RHS Gardening". Retrieved 2012-06-24.
  7. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 97. Retrieved 11 November 2018.

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