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   Both Sidalcea candida and Sidalcea neomexicana have large, showy flowers, round basal leaves, lobed upper leaves, and grow to about three feet in the moist areas they enjoy.

    In 1849 Asa Gray named this genus and both the species pictured below from specimens collected by Augustus Fendler in 1847.

    Fendler collected Sidalcea candida in a "Creek bottom, near the creek in Santa Fe... 24 June-28 July 1847".

    Fendler collected Sidalcea neomexicana in "moist meadows, Santa Fe... 30 June-31 July 1847".

    (Fendler's words as quoted in Intermountain Flora.)

    Sida (Greek for "side", a name used by Theophrastus for a water plant) and Alcea (Greek for a kind of Mallow and the present day scientific name of the garden Hollyhock) are two Malvaceae genera.

Sidalcea candida
Sidalcea candida variety candida  (White Checker Mallow)
Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Montane, subalpine. Streamsides, wetlands. Summer.
Little Taylor Creek Trail, July 28, 2005.
Near Chris Park Trail, July 12, 2007.

Checker Mallow grows straight, slim, and tall (to three feet) and has clusters of two inch white flowers making it an attractive and conspicuous plant.  Look for it in the same moist forests and meadows that Rudbeckia laciniata grows in.  The two often grow so densely that they completely obscure the ground with their tall luxuriant growth.

"Candida" is Latin for for "brilliant white".

Sidalcea candida
Sidalcea candida variety candida  (White Checker Mallow)
Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Montane, subalpine. Streamsides, wetlands. Summer.
Little Taylor Creek Trail, July 28, 2005.

Sidalcea candida

Sidalcea candida variety candida

Sidalcea candida variety candida

Sidalcea candida variety candida  (White Checker Mallow)
Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Montane, subalpine. Streamsides, wetlands. Summer.
Kilpacker Trail, August 29, 2005 and August 28, 2014.

Sidalcea candida is rhizomatous and commonly grows in clusters of plants, even in dense patches. But be sure to focus on the beauty of individual flowers as well as on the overall display.

Sidalcea candida
Sidalcea candida variety candida  (White Checker Mallow)
Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Montane, subalpine. Streamsides, wetlands. Summer.
Little Taylor Creek Trail, August 20, 2007.

Sidalcea neomexicana
Sidalcea neomexicana subspecies neomexicana  (Pink Checker Mallow)
Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Montane, subalpine. Streamsides, wetlands. Summer.
Haviland Lake Trail, June 28, 2004.

Sidalcea neomexicana grows to 3 feet tall with numerous, showy pink flowers. Like its cousin shown above, this Sidalcea likes to have its feet wet, so you will find it along stream banks, in wet meadows, and near seeps.

Sidalcea neomexicana

Sidalcea neomexicana

Sidalcea neomexicana subspecies neomexicana  (Pink Checker Mallow)
Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Montane, subalpine. Streamsides, wetlands. Summer.
Haviland Lake Trail, July 1, 2005.

Sidalcea neomexicana
Sidalcea neomexicana subspecies neomexicana  (Pink Checker Mallow)
Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Montane, subalpine. Streamsides, wetlands. Summer.
Haviland Lake Trail, July 1, 2005.

Sidalcea neomexicana
Sidalcea neomexicana subspecies neomexicana  (Pink Checker Mallow)
Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Montane, subalpine. Streamsides, wetlands. Summer.
Lone Mesa State Park, June 6, 2009.

A close look at basal leaves and stems shows numerous silky hairs.

Sidalcea neomexicana
Sidalcea neomexicana
Sidalcea neomexicana
Sidalcea neomexicana subspecies neomexicana  (Pink Checker Mallow)
Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Montane, subalpine. Streamsides, wetlands. Summer.
Haviland Lake Trail, July 1, 2005.

Nearly circular and lobed basal leaves; more deeply incised mid-plant leaves; and deeply incised upper leaves all belong to Sidalcea neomexicana.

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 Sidalcea candida

Range map for Sidalcea neomexicana