Napaea dioica (Glade Mallow)
|Also known as:|
|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):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Glade Mallow plant
- Glade Mallow plants
- a colony of Glade Mallow
- garden-grown Glade Mallow
- a clump of leaves emerge in spring
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?