Malva nicaensis All., Fl.Pedem. 2:40. 1785. Boiss. , l.c.819.
Annual, decumbent, up to 50 cm tall glabrescent herb. Stem branched, young branches usually strigose hairy, hairs soft or hispid. Leaves 1-4 cm long, 1.5-c.6 cm broad, truncate to shallowly cordate at base, serrate-crenate, semi-orbicular to subreniform, mostly glabrous above, sparsely simple or 2-rayed hairy below, 3-7 lobed; stipules lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate or oblong-ovate, 3-6 mm long, 2-3 mm broad, glabrous or margin slightly ciliate; petiole 4-14 cm along, simple hairy above, glabrescent below. Flowers axillary, in fasicles of (1-) 2-3 (-5); pedicel 3-10 mm long, in fruit up to c. 2 cm, with simple, strigose hairs, sometimes mixed with 2 rayed hairs. Epicalyx segments ovate or oval, 2-4 mm long, 1.5-3 mm broad, accrescent in fruit, glabrous, margin ciliate. Calyx 3-5 mm long, nearly free to the middle, glabrous or occasionall with simple or 2 rayed hairs, margin long ciliate, in fruit accrescent, spreading, glabrous except ciliate margin, scarious. Petals bluish-pinkish above, whitish below, twice the length of calyx, oblong-obovate, retuse, glabrous. Staminal column 3.5 mm long with simple or 2 rayed retrose hairs. Fruit discoid, 4-6 mm across, pubescent to glabrous, wrinkled, reticulate; mericarps 8-10, 1.5-2 mm across in all directions. Seeds dark brown, 1 mm long and broad.
Type: Described from Nice, (TO n.v.).
Distribution: Mediterranean region, Arabia, Russia, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan.
The indumentum on branches and fruits is variable in this species. Branches with or without stiff hairs and hairy or glabrous fruits are met with. However, the variability in these characters is correlated with the developmental stage and sometimes the two extremes are present on the same plant also.