Physocarpus malvaceus (Greene) Kuntze
mallow ninebark
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jim Riley     (Photo ID #27926)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Physocarpus malvaceus
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Medium shrub, 0.5-2 m tall; branches erect to arching, angled, minutely star-shaped-hairy when young, eventually with brown, papery, shredding bark.
Alternate, deciduous, stalked, the blades egg- to heart-shaped in outline, 3-5 cm long, palmately 3- to 5-lobed, the lobes irregularly double-toothed, star-shaped-hairy at least on the lower surface.
Inflorescences dense, terminal, half-rounded clusters of several to many stalked flowers, the stalks star-shaped-hairy; corollas white, saucer-shaped, the petals 5, nearly circular, about 3 mm long; calyces densely star-shaped-hairy, 5-lobed, the lanceolate lobes about 3 mm long, somewhat bent back; ovaries superior; stamens about 30.
Follicles, 2, joined at the base at least to midlength, inflated, 7-10 mm long, densely star-shaped-hairy; seeds 1 to 4 per follicle, hardened, shiny.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Physocarpus malvaceus

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
861 450 1585
Slope Gradient (%)
39 0 108

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

202 4 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 0 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

ICH(155), IDF(76), MS(3), PP(18)

Habitat and Range

Dry rocky hillsides and open forests in the montane zone; locally frequent in SE BC, rare in SC BC; E to AB and S to WY, UT and OR.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia