Malacothamnus fasciculatus, with the common names chaparral mallow and Mendocino bushmallow, is a species of flowering plant in the mallow family. It is found in far western North America.

The plant is native to California and northern Baja California, where it is a common member of the chaparral and coastal sage scrub plant communities in many regions, desert chaparral in the Colorado Desert, and other habitats.

Malacothamnus fasciculatus is a shrub with a slender, multi-branched stem growing 1–5 meters (3.3–16.4 ft) in height. It is coated thinly to densely in white or brownish hairs.

The leaves are oval or rounded in shape, 2 to 11 centimeters long, and sometimes divided into lobes. The inflorescence is an elongated cluster of many pale pink flowers with petals under a centimeter long.

It is a highly variable plant that is sometimes described as a spectrum of varieties, and which is sometimes hard to differentiate from other Malacothamnus species.

Varieties of the species currently named include:

    Malacothamnus fasciculatus var. catalinensis — Santa Catalina Island bush-mallow; endemic to Catalina Island, one of the Channel Islands of California.
    Malacothamnus fasciculatus var. fasciculatus.
    Malacothamnus fasciculatus var. nesioticus — Santa Cruz Island bush mallow; a rare plant endemic to Santa Cruz Island, one of the Channel Islands, on which only ~120 individual plants remain. It is federally listed as an endangered species.
    Malacothamnus fasciculatus var. nuttallii — endemic to California in the San Francisco Bay Area, Outer South Coast Ranges, and Western Transverse Ranges.

Observations Map

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