A family of herbs, with some shrubs and trees, in which the leaves are palmately veined, often lobed, and rich in mucilage. The flowers are regular, usually pentamerous, with free petals, numerous stamens joined into a tube below, and numerous carpels joined into a ring to form the superior ovary. The fruit is a capsule, or else breaks into many one-seeded nutlets. Cotton is made from the seed-coat fibres of Gossypium species; species of Hibiscus, Malva (mallow), and Althaea (especially A. rosea, hollyhock), are cultivated for their flowers, while A. officinalis (marsh mallow) has been used in confectionery and medicine. In modern classifications there are 121 genera, with about 1500 species, occurring in most temperate and tropical regions.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.