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Sidalcea malviflora (Dwarf checkerbloom)
Bruso, George H.

Sidalcea malviflora

Sidalcea malviflora (DC.) A. Gray ex Benth.

Dwarf Checkerbloom, Dwarf Checker-mallow, Checkerbloom

Malvaceae (Mallow Family)


USDA Symbol: SIMA2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

This is a variable perennial species with numerous subspecies recognized throughout its range. Rhizomes bear dense tufts of dark-green, palmately lobed, fleshy leaves above which grows a flowering stalk 6-42 in. high. Pink to purple, hollyhock-like flowers line the stalk and vary in size according to subspecies. The flowers open in the morning and twist closed at night.

This plant is very variable throughout its range, and reseeds readily.


From the Image Gallery

8 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Schizocarp
Size Notes: Up to about 42 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Pink to lavender or rose-purple, rarely white.


Native Distribution: Coastal areas from s. OR through CA
Native Habitat: Grassy slopes; mesas; prairies; open woods

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist winter/dry summer soils.
Conditions Comments: Because this plant is so variable throughout its range, it is important to use plant material native to the area in which you will be planting. In its native range, checkerblooms reseeds readily.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Most easily propagated from seed planted in the late fall. You can also divide the root crowns in the winter before the flowering stem starts to develop. Cut the root lengthwise into 2-3 pieces and replant 8-12 in. apart.
Seed Treatment: Germination is enhanced if seeds are soaked in hot water overnight.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA


Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Sidalcea malviflora in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sidalcea malviflora in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sidalcea malviflora


Record Modified: 2023-02-27
Research By: TWC Staff

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