Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Sphaeralcea rusbyi, Rusby's Globemallow

Sphaeralcea rusbyi, Rusby's GlobemallowSphaeralcea rusbyi, Rusby's GlobemallowSphaeralcea rusbyi, Rusby's GlobemallowSphaeralcea rusbyi, Rusby's GlobemallowSphaeralcea rusbyi, Rusby's Globemallow

Scientific Name: Sphaeralcea rusbyi
Common Name: Rusby's Globemallow
Also Called: Cutleaf Globemallow
Family: Malvaceae, Globe Mallow Family
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Annual, perennial.
Size: Up to 3 feet or more.
Growth Form: Forb/herb, subshrub; woody base, herbage covered with stellate hairy pubescence.
Leaves: Green; leaves up to ¾ of an inch, leaves with petioles, linear-lanceolate heart-shaped or triangular, margins entire to deeply dissected.
Flower Color: Orange, red-orange, apricot, white or lavender; flowers in clusters from leaf, corolla with 5 obovate petals, anthers yellow or purple, fruit a schizocarp with 9 or more segments (mericarps) with 1 or 2 seeds.
Flowering Season: April to September.
Elevation: 2,500 to 6,000 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Well-drained slopes, often in openings in pine forests.

Recorded Range: Rusby's Globemallow is relatively rare in the United States where it is found only in AZ, CA and Washington County UT. Primary populations are found in the central and southern part of Arizona; in California it is found in the southeast counties of Inyo and San Bernardino.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Sphaeralcea rusbyi.

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

Threatened/Endangered Information: Sphaeralcea rusbyi var. eremicola, Rusby's Desert-Mallow is listed by the California Native Plant Society as Rare Plant Rank: 1B.2, Rare, threatened, or endangered in California and elsewhere, .2 Fairly endangered in California.

Genus Information: 26 species in Sphaeralcea in the western half of North America. 17 species in Arizona, 14 species in New Mexico, 8 species in California and 12 species in Texas.

3 sub-species in Sphaeralcea rusbyi:
Sphaeralcea rusbyi subsp. eremicola, Rusby's Globemallow (CA);
Sphaeralcea rusbyi subsp. gilensis, Gila Globemallow (AZ);
Sphaeralcea rusbyi subsp. rusbyi, Rusby's Globemallow (AZ, UT).

The Plant List includes 170 scientific plant names of species rank for the genus Sphaeralcea. Of these 53 are accepted species names.

Comments: The type specimen for Sphaeralcea rusbyi is from Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona (Rusby 537).

In Southwest Desert Flora also see: Desert Globemallow, Sphaeralcea ambigua; Scarlet Globemallow, Sphaeralcea coccinea; Coulter's Globemallow, Sphaeralcea coulteri; and Fendler’s Globemallow, Sphaeralcea fendleri.

Date Profile Completed: 11/30/2015, updated format 09/28/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 11/27/2015).
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 11/30/2015), as Sphaeralcea rusbyi var. eremicola,5133,0,5144
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information
California Native Plant Society; (accessed 11/30/2015),
Rare Plant Rank: 1B.2
Rare, threatened, or endangered in California and elsewhere
.2: Fairly endangered in California