Napaea dioica (Glade Mallow)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Malvaceae (Mallow)
Life cycle:perennial
  • State Threatened
Habitat:part shade, shade, sun; moist to wet; floodplains, along streams, open woods and woodland edges
Bloom season:July - August
Plant height:3 to 6 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: none MW: FACW NCNE: FACW
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

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

[photo of female flowers] Tight, branching clusters of short-stalked flowers at the top of the plant and arising from upper leaf axils, with male and female flowers on separate plants. Flowers are 1/3 to ¾ inch across with 5 white oval petals. Female flowers have a cluster of curly, thread-like styles atop a white ovary.

[photo of male flowers] Male flowers have a cluster of stamens in the center, the stalks (filaments) fused into a column with the pale pinkish tips (anthers) in a ball at the tip. The calyx cupping the flower has 5 pointed, triangular lobes. Flower stalks and sepals are hairless to sparsely hairy.

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

[photo of leaf] Leaves are quite large, up to 18 inches in diameter, round in outline, palmately lobed into 5 to 9 segments, which may be further lobed, the lobe segments coarsely toothed and sharply pointed. Lower leaves are long-stalked, with leaves becoming smaller and shorter-stalked as they ascend the stem. Surfaces are hairless to softly hairy.

[photo of stipules] At the base of the leaf stalk is a pair of leafy appendages (stipules) that are narrowly lance-triangular, up to 1 inch long, and wither away as the plant matures. Stems are erect, unbranched except in the flowers, ridged, sparsely hairy, and often coated with a waxy bloom. Plants may form colonies from spreading rhizomes.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

[photo of fruit] The female flowers form small, round clusters of up to 10 wedge-shaped, capsule-like segments (mericarps), each containing a single seed. Seed heads mature from green to dark brown.


Glade Mallow is a distinctive species, the separate male and female flowers and size and shape of the leaves make it easily identifiable in the field. A rare plant in Minnesota as well as in most of its limited North American range, our southeast counties mark the northwest edge of its range. According to the DNR, it was listed as an Endangered species in 1984 but downgraded to Threatened in 1996 when its habitat requirements were better understood. In Minnesota, the remaining populations are mostly found in floodplains and along streams and riverbanks, sometimes forming long, narrow colonies. With adequate moisture, it can perform well in a home garden.

Please visit our sponsors

  • Minnesota Native Plant Society

Where to buy native seed and plants ↓

Map of native plant purveyors in the upper midwest

  • Natural Shore Technologies - Using science to improve land and water
  • Itasca Ladyslipper Farm - Native orchids, container grown
  • Prairie Restorations - Bringing people together with the land
  • Shop for native seeds and plants at!
  • Shooting Star Native Seeds - Native Prairie Grass and Wildflower Seeds

More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken in her backyard garden. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Houston County and a private garden in Ramsey County.


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

Posted by: Nancy - Forestville
on: 2015-07-05 08:08:24

Growing in moist, partially shaded alluvial soil by South branch o Root River!

Posted by: Kenny h - On a spur off the shooting star trail,Rose Creek tributary
on: 2017-06-14 15:43:31

Along side a bridge on a tributary of the Rose Creek...2 large just beginning to bloom plants...looked like the deer had been munching on them

Posted by: Deb A - Fillmore county
on: 2017-08-12 01:12:57

General root river. Often near older bridges. High Forest to Grand Meadow and east.

Post a comment

Note: All comments are moderated before posting to keep the riff-raff out. An email address is required, but will not be posted—it will only be used for information exchange between the 2 of us (if needed) and will never be given to a 3rd party without your express permission.

For info on subjects other than plant identification (gardening, invasive species control, edible plants, etc.), please check the links and invasive species pages for additional resources.


Note: Comments or information about plants outside of Minnesota and neighboring states may not be posted because Id like to keep the focus of this web site centered on Minnesota. Thanks for your understanding.