Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Eremalche rotundifolia, Desert Fivespot

Desert Fivespot is perhaps one of the showiest wildflowers in the southwestern United States. Flower color variable; lilac, pinkish-purple, mauve and drying violet-purple. Eremalche rotundifolia Desert Fivespot, sometimes spelled Desert Five-spot is a lovely flower that blooms early spring from March to May. Eremalche rotundifolia Desert Fivespot is a native annual, a forb or small sub-shrub that grows in dry sandy soils in desert scrub at elevations from 100 to 3,500 feet. Eremalche rotundifolia Desert Fivespot is a dramatic looking plant with bright green leaves, coarsely crenate and with long mostly simple hairs. This plant grows up to 2 feet or so. (Showy plant in background with yellow flowers is Yellow Cups, Chylismia brevipes). Eremalche rotundifolia

Scientific Name: Eremalche rotundifolia
Common Name: Desert Fivespot
Also Called: Desert Five-spot (Spanish: Malva)
Family: Malvaceae, Globe Mallow Family
Synonyms: (Malvastrum rotundifolium)
Status: Native
Duration: Annual
Size: Up to 2 feet or so.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; subshrub; erect, sometimes branched at base; stems hispid with long mostly simple hairs.
Leaves: Green; coarsely crenate, round-reniform; leaf petioles also hispid with long mostly simple hairs;
Flower Color: Lilac, pinkish-purple, mauve, drying violet-purple; flower petals pinkish-purple, each petal with a bright purple basal blotch or "spot" at base;
Flowering Season: March to May.
Elevation: 100 to 3,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Dry sandy soils, dry desert scrub, often in washes.

Recorded Range: Eremalche rotundifolia, Desert Fivespot is found in the southwestern United States in AZ, CA, NV. It is also native to Baja California and northwestern Mexico.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Eremalche rotundifolia.

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: Eremalche rotundifolia is one of the showiest plants in the southwestern United States. The type species is from Fort Mohave (Cooper), Arizona.

In Southwest Desert Flora also see: White Mallow, Eremalche exilis.

Date Profile Completed: 02/27/2017, updated format 10/12/2017
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California, as Malvastrum rotundifolium.
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).
The Jepson Desert Manual; 2002; Baldwin, Bruce G., et. al.; The Jepson Desert Manual: Vascular Plants of Southeastern California; page 371, 373 Univ. of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California
Katarina Andreasen & David M. Bates; Jepson Online Interchange, eFlora Treatment; (accessed 02/25/2017)
Fryxell, Paul A. 1994. Malvaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 27(2), 222-236.
SEINet synonyms, scientific names, geographic locations, general information - (accessed 02/24/2017).