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Iliamna grandiflora
Iliamna grandiflora (Wild Hollyhock)
Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Foothills, montane. Streamsides, wet areas. Summer.
Mesa Verde National Park, Prater Ridge Trail, June 17, 2006.

These four foot tall beauties surprised us in the midst of charred Gambel's Oaks on a dry Mesa in Mesa Verde National Park in one of the driest years on record.  These are wetland loving plants, so the plants pictured must be tapping into moisture kept near the surface by rock. 

Iliamna grandiflora is rare in Colorado; it is found only in the Southwest foothills. Iliamna grandiflora has been found only a few times in Utah in and near the Abajo Mountains. 

Edwin Greene named this genus in 1906, renaming David Douglas' Malva rivularis to Iliamna rivularis and renaming Per Axel Rydberg's Sphaeralcea grandiflora to Iliamna angulata.  The latter species' name was changed by Ira Wiggins in 1936 to Iliamna grandiflora.  The meaning and derivation of the genus name is unknown. 

The type specimen for Iliamna grandiflora was collected at Mesa Verde, June 14, 1901 at an elevation of 2,200 meters by F. K. Vreeland. Rydberg described the plant and named it Sphaeralcea grandiflora in 1904. Wiggins renamed it Iliamna grandiflora in 1936. 

The 50,000 acre Mesa Verde National Park did not come into existence until 1906 so the reference to "Mesa Verde" refers to the entire 150,000 acre Mesa Verde, all of which was part of the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation. 

The plants shown on this page were photographed in Mesa Verde National Park at approximately 7,700 feet elevation. Vreeland's original collections were probably made in one of the many canyon bottoms of Mesa Verde.

Iliamna grandiflora
Iliamna grandiflora (Wild Hollyhock)
Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Foothills, montane. Streamsides, wet areas. Summer.
Mesa Verde National Park, Prater Ridge Trail, June 17, 2006.

Iliamna grandiflora
Iliamna grandiflora (Wild Hollyhock)
Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Foothills, montane. Streamsides, wet areas. Summer.
Mesa Verde National Park, Prater Ridge Trail, June 17, 2006.

Flowers are large, about an 1 1/2 inches deep by several inches wide.

Flowers are most often rose pink, rarely white.

Iliamna grandiflora
Iliamna grandiflora (Wild Hollyhock)
Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Foothills, montane. Streamsides, wet areas. Summer.
Mesa Verde National Park, Prater Ridge Trail, June 17, 2006.

Leaves are large and palmately lobed.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Iliamna grandiflora