Sidalcea malviflora subsp. californica
Perenn. Sp. Sidalcea, 32. 1957.
Plants grayish, 0.4–0.8 (–1) m, with thick, rather woody taproot and usually non-matted, long-spreading rootstocks crenate, distal usually more deeply incised, 7-lobed, lobes cuneate-oblong, apically toothed. Inflorescences open, 10+-flowered, 10–20 cm, flowers evenly spaced 0.5–1 cm, especially in age, axis elongated in fruit; proximalmost bracts leaflike, often divided to base, distal linear to oblong, undivided or 2-fid, 3–6 mm, usually equaling pedicels. Pedicels 3–6 (–20) mm, proximal longest. Flowers: calyx 9–13 mm, uniformly, densely, coarsely stellate-puberulent, hairs to 1 mm, margins often long-ciliate; petals pale pinkish rose, often pale-veined, 10–30 mm, pistillate darker and shorter; staminal column 5–6 mm; anthers white; stigmas (6 or) 7–9. Schizocarps 6–7 mm diam.; mericarps (6 or) 7–9, 3–3.5 mm, glandularpuberulent, rugose, prominently, coarsely reticulate-veined-pitted and wrinkled, mucro 0.5 mm. Seeds 2–2.5 mm.
Phenology: Flowering Mar–May(–Jun).
Habitat: Coastal scrub, oak savannas, chaparral
Elevation: 20–800(–1800) m
Subspecies californica is similar to and intergrades with subsp. laciniata and with Sidalcea sparsifolia; it is best recognized by its long-petioled, very shallowly incised basal leaves and shallowly to more deeply incised seven-lobed distal leaves, all of which are densely velvety stellate-pubescent. DNA evidence suggests that it may not belong within S. malviflora (K. Andreasen and B. G. Baldwin 2001, 2003). Subspecies californica is found in the southern outer South Coast and the western Transverse ranges from Monterey to Los Angeles counties.