Sphaeralcea ambigua  Desert Globemallow
PERENNIAL.  Tall leafy stems are crowded with bright salmon orange flowers, 2-3 cm in diameter.  Anthers yellow (not maroon).  Flowering stems many, nearly white, semi-woody.  Flowers are occasionally pink or pale lavender, especially at lower elevations.  Blooms in March-May, sometimes again in late summer after rains.  Leaves slightly fuzzy, triangular or arrowhead-shaped, with many small wavy or crinkled lobes.  Compared to other Sphaeralcea, leaves are larger and more variable in size and shape on a single plant.  The largest Sphaeralcea in the Empires, occasional on flat gravel and disturbed ground in desertscrub at low elevations.  The pink form is rare in the Empires but common in the lower desert. This species is often cultivated in desert gardens.
FAMILY:  Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Sphaeralcea is easily recognized as a genus, since most species have similar salmon-colored flowers and lobed, fuzzy leaves with prominent veins.  A few are easy to identify but several of the larger species are very similar and often highly variable, especially in leaf size and shape.  They may require all information - flowers, leaves, mature fruits, growth habit, and habitat/elevation - for identification.