Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Eremalche exilis, White Mallow

Scientific Name: Eremalche exilis
Common Name: White Mallow
Also Called: White Mallow, White-mallow, Eremalche exilis (Spanish: Malva)
Family: Malvaceae, Globe Mallow Family
Synonyms: (Malvastrum exilis)
Status: Native
Duration: Annual
Size: Up to 20 inches or so.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; plants prostrate to decumbent; plants finely stellate-hairy.
Leaves: Green, dark green; pinnately cleft with rounded lobes, 3 to 5 lobes, lobe tips variable - entire to 3-toothed; pubescence on leaves and stems mostly stellate.
Flower Color: White, pale pink-purple or lavender; flowers small; flowers solitary from leaf axils; flowers bisexual; fruit a disc-shaped schizocarp.
Flowering Season: February to June; March to May in California.
Elevation: 1,000 to 4,000 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Common along roadsides and in fields; habitats desert scrub.

Recorded Range: White Mallow is found in the southwestern United States in AZ, CA, NV, UT. It is also native to Baja California.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Eremalche exilis.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: In North America there is 1 species and 1 accepted taxa overall for Eremalche. World wide, The Plant List includes 3 accepted species names and a further 1 infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States there is 1 species of Eremalche. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

Comments: The type (as Malvastrum exilis) from Pyramid Canyon, Mohave County (Newberry in 1858) Arizona. Eremalche exilis

In Southwest Desert Flora also see: Desert Fivespot, Eremalche rotundifolia.

Eremalche exilis has been used for food by southwestern United States indigenous peoples.

  • Pima, Gila River Food, Unspecified; Leaves boiled and eaten.
  • Pima, Gila River Food, Vegetable; Leaves boiled or boiled, strained, refried and eaten as greens.

  • See complete listing of ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.
    Date Profile Completed: 04/14/2017, updated format 09/28/2017
    Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California, as Malvastrum exilis.
    U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 02/24/2017)
    The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 02/24/2017).
    Katarina Andreasen & David M. Bates 2017. Eremalche exilis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 15, 2017.
    Fryxell, Paul A. 1994. Malvaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 27(2), 222-236.
    SEINet synonyms, scientific names, geographic locations, general information - (accessed 04/14/2017).