Desert Globemallow

  • Scientific name: Sphaeralcia ambigua
  • Very drought tolerant and likes full sun
  • Tallest of the native globemallows (up to 5 feet)
  • Short life span but rapid growth rate
  • Re-establishes via prolific seed production
  • Prolific in Arizona, especially Phoenix basin

46 in stock

Quantity is per pound. Example: 1 = 1 lb, 2 = 2 lbs, 3 = 3lbs, etc. This is pure seed, not a live plant.


Desert Globemallow (Sphaeralcia ambigua) is the tallest of the native globemallows, reaching heights as high as 5 feet. It most frequently occurs in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and southern Utah and the desert southwest. It is very drought tolerant and likes full sun. It is a member of the genus Sphaeralcea in the mallow family (Malvaceae).

The Desert Globemallow is a perennial subshrub or forb/herb. It’s most active growth period is in the spring and summer. It has green foliage and inconspicuous orange flowers, with an abundance of conspicuous orange/brown fruits or seeds. The greatest bloom is usually observed in the early spring, with fruit and production starting in the spring and continuing until summer. Leaves are not retained year to year. It has a short life span relative to most other plant species and a rapid growth rate, but re-establishes via prolific seed production. At maturity a typical Desert Globemallow plant will reach up to 5 feet high.

Desert Globemallow (Sphaeralcia ambigua) can be propagated by seed. It has a rapid ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have high vigor. Note that cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below -6°F. has high tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.

*** Click on the “Quick Plant Facts” tab for more information.

(Sphaeralcia ambigua)

Desert Globemallow NRCS Fact Sheet and Plant Guide

PDF version of NRCS Plant Guide & Fact Sheet

Citation: Wolf, M. and B. Evancho. 2016. USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Tucson Plant Materials Center. Tucson, AZ.

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Helpful Links

Additional information about this product can be found on the academic websites linked below.


Many plants have more than one common and scientific name. We've listed a few of them below.

  • Desert Globemallow
  • Sphaeralcea ambigua
  • Apricot Mallow

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Quick Plant Facts
Common Name:

Apricot MAllow

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