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Pt. Reyes Sidalcea
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Sidalcea calycosa

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About Pt. Reyes Sidalcea (Sidalcea calycosa) Sidalcea calycosa is a native annual herb in the Malvaceae (Mallow) family that grows in central and northern California from the coast to the central valley and Sierra foothills. It tends to grow in marshes, vernal pools and other wet places, at elevations from sea level to 3,900 feet. There are two recognized subspecies. Ssp. rhizomata (Pt. Reyes Checkerbloom) is a rare plant found only along the coast in Marin, Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Sidalcea calycosa is most often seen as an annual, but if conditions are right it may become a weak perennial growing from a rhizome. In the garden it needs a very wet area and not too much competition. If conditions are good it will spread.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual Herb

Max. Height
1 - 3 ft (0.3 - 0.9 m)


Growth Rate

Summer Semi-Deciduous

Basal blades margins generally with rounded teeth, while the leaves along the stem have 5-11 deep lobes.

Flower Color

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer, Fall

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Coastal marshes and wet places, including vernal pools.

Part Shade, Sun

Elevation ?
13' - 3890'

Annual Precip. ?
12.6" - 66.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.18" - 1.25"

Coldest Month ?
43.8° F - 51.9° F

Hottest Month ?
58.9° F - 77.6° F

Humidity ?
0.09 vpd - 25.16 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerant of a variety of garden soils as long as sufficient moisture is available

Fast, Medium, Slow, Standing

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 20° F

Companion Plants
Other wet-loving plants that won't be covered by this spreading plant. Consider ferns (Polystichum munitum, Adiantum capillus-veneris), riparian trees (Alnus rubra), or rushes (Cyperus eragrostis).

Wildlife Attracted
Important pollinator plant which attracts native bees and butterflies, including the West Coast Lady butterfly (Vanessa annabella).

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Seldom Used

Max. Summer Water ?
Keep moist
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Cut back at the end of autumn once flowering has completed to encourage more blooming.

Pest Control
Can be affected by rusts, slugs, and snails.

Propagation ?
Propagate by dividing by the rhizomes. Divide plants in the spring (cooler areas) or the autumn in (warmer areas).

Common uses
Groundcovers, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Annual Checkerbloom

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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