Althaea roses (L). Cay.
Erect annual herbs, 1-2.5 m tall. Stem rough stellate hairy, glabrescent. Leaves long petioled, large, round or ovate, at base cordate, at apex rounded, entire to 5-7 lobed, upper 3-lobed, crenate to dentate, scabrous and stellate pubescent on both sides. Flowers axillary, solitary or 2-3 in fascicles, spike like because of short pedicel in terminal branches, pedicel enlarged in fruit. Epicalyx segments 6-7, 1.5 cm long or more, fused below the middle, lanceolate to ovate. Calyx up to 1.5 times longer than epicalyx, both epicalyx and calyx stellate pubescent, scabrous. Corolla 5-7 cm across, of various colours; petals 4-7 cm long. Fruit depressed, globose; pubescent, enclosed by calyx, ± 2 cm across; mericarps 2C-40, channeled and winged dorsally, 5-7 mm across, back 1.5 mm broad.
Type: H.U. Linn.Herb. 3.869.1. (LINN!).
Distribution: According to Zohary (l.c.) “wild Alcea rosea L. seems to be indigenous almost exclusively on the Aegean islands and the adjacent Balkan Peninsula. The areas of its origin are no doubt the north-eastern Mediterranean countries, but not China which is beyond the natural range of the genus”. Elsewhere cultivated.
In Pakistan it is extensively cultivated throughout.