What is an Orange Mallow Plant?

Overview

Orange globe mallow (Sphaeralcea munroana) grows in low-lying mountain ranges and deserts from British Columbia all the way south to California and as far east as Utah and Montana. The plant produces brilliantly colored orange blossoms, measuring about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, with five petals that overlap. The blossoms arrive on flower spikes in mid-summer, during the time of the most intense summer heat, when many other plants fail to flower.

Growth

The orange globe mallow plant grows approximately 36 inches high with a spread of 24 inches. The plant grows in elevations ranging from 3,000 to 8,000 feet. The plant begins to grow in March and April and disperses its tiny seeds in August. It takes about 500,000 orange globe mallow seeds to make 1 lb., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Root System

Orange globe mallow grows off a rhizomatous root system. The taproot reaches downward 3 feet then begins to branch into a lateral root system. This deep-reaching root system makes the plant extremely drought-tolerant.

Animal Food

Orange globe mallow plants are a favorite grazing forage for livestock and wild animals, such as antelope and deer. Many small birds enjoy consuming the seeds of the plant.

Plant Hairs

The plant produces tiny hairs in abundance along the stems and leaves. These tiny hairs are irritating to skin and eyes of both humans and animals.

Ornamental Uses

Even though orange globe mallow grows in abundance along roadways, pastures, flats and sandy plains, it is still highly coveted as an ornamental garden plant because of its ease of growth. The plant is a perennial that easily reseeds itself.

Growth Requirements

Orange globe mallow will flourish in soils with pH balances ranging from 5.0 to 8.0. The plants grow well in areas that receive at least 6 to 8 inches of rain annually. They must be grown in full sun to thrive and will not tolerate shade.

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About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.