Callirhoe triangulata (Clustered Poppy-mallow)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Malvaceae (Mallow)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:sun; dry sandy soil; prairies, river terraces, open woods, along railroads
Bloom season:July - September
Plant height:16 to 40 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:none
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals Cluster type: flat

[photo of flowers] Clusters of several short-stalked flowers at stem tips and arising from upper leaf axils. Flowers are 1 to 2½ inches across with 5 petals, bright pink to magenta to nearly red. In the center is a column covered in pale pink stamens with several whitish styles at the tip.

[side view of cluster; calyx, stalk and bracts] The calyx surrounding the flower has 5 lobes that are broad at the base and abruptly taper at the tip. Around the base of the calyx are 3 spoon-shaped bracts. The calyx, bracts and flower stalks are all covered in star-shaped hairs.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: lobed Leaf type: simple

[photo of lower leaf] Leaves are egg-shaped to triangular in outline, straight across to heart-shaped at the base, 2 to 6 inches long, 1 to 4 inches wide, on stalks up to 12 inches long. Lower leaves are unlobed, upper leaves often have 3 or 5 lobes, and the uppermost leaves are smallest, more narrowly lance-shaped and stalkless or nearly so. Edges have coarse, rounded teeth; surfaces are covered in star-shaped hairs.

[photo of star-shaped hairs on stem] The stems and leaf stalks are also densely covered in star-shaped hairs. Stems are single or multiple from the base, weakly erect to ascending or prostrate from the base and rising near the tip (decumbent).

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod Fruit type: seed without plume

[photo of developing fruit] Fruit is flat and round, much like a wheel of cheese though its center is dimpled. The wheel is about ¼ inch across, sitting in a leafy cup formed by the persistent calyx. It is divided into 10-13 seed containing carpels that split apart at maturity. Individual carpels are crescent moon shaped, the outer surface smooth with a finely hairy coat, the sides flat and smooth.


Clustered Poppy-mallow is known from just a single location in Minnesota—at Kellogg-Weaver Dunes SNA in Wabasha County—but it is questionable whether it is a naturally occurring population or was planted (intentionally or as a garden escapee), since it is readily available in the nursery trade. It was first discovered at the SNA in 2008 and we found a single plant still hanging on when we visited six years later. The DNR lists it as native in the state but does not consider it threatened or endangered, and does not even track it. Just across the river in Wisconsin, it is listed as a Special Concern species and is noted as globally rare. Perhaps it migrated here naturally. Or not. In either case, it is easily identified from the large, purplish-pink flowers, triangular leaves, and star-shaped hairs.

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More photos

Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken at Kellogg-Weaver Dunes SNA, Wabasha County.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Donald M Koskey - Princeton
on: 2021-01-06 14:23:52

Would like to add this to my prairie in Princeton, MN. 55371

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