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Sphaeralcea incana (Gray globemallow)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Sphaeralcea incana

Sphaeralcea incana Torr. ex A. Gray

Gray Globemallow

Malvaceae (Mallow Family)


USDA Symbol: SPIN2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Perennial with several to many erect stems from a stout woody crown and a large taproot, very densely yellowish-canescent with very short scurfy hairs. Grows to heights between 3 to 6 feet on grassy-rock slopes, sandy soils, among boulders and on gravely-clay flats in the Trans-Pecos.

Tall flower stems appear from bushy plants with an overall silver or gray-green appearance. The flower stems bare soft orange flowers. Foliage is greyish-green. Blooms June to October. Grows best in full sun.


From the Image Gallery

47 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Subshrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Schizocarp
Size Notes: Usually up to about 6 feet tall, but may reach 10 feet.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Pink , Orange
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov



Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Drought Tolerance: Medium , High
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes


Use Medicinal: Grey Globemallow has been used for food and medicinal purposes by Native Americans and others. The top of the plant was made into a beverage or eaten. It is said to be nourishing and tasty. The roots and leaves are demulcent and emollient. People used a poultice of fresh crushed leaves for skin injuries or inflammations, or to line their shoes or fill their socks while hiking. The leaf and flower tea is gentle, and was used for respiratory irritations and flu.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

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

From the National Organizations Directory

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

NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX

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


Record Modified: 2023-04-13
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