martinjohnbishop's picture

Lavatera cretica, Alghero

Observed: 19th April 2009 By: martinjohnbishopmartinjohnbishop’s reputation in Plantsmartinjohnbishop’s reputation in Plantsmartinjohnbishop’s reputation in Plantsmartinjohnbishop’s reputation in Plantsmartinjohnbishop’s reputation in Plants
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Smaller Tree-mallow (Lavatera cretica) interacts


martinjohnbishop's picture

The Plant List says

Lavatera cretica L. is a synonym of Malva linnaei M.F.Ray

Malva linnaei M.F.Ray is an accepted name
This name is the accepted name of a species in the genus Malva (family Malvaceae).
The record derives from WCSP (in review) which reports it as an accepted name with original publication details: Novon 8: 292 1998.

Malva pseudolavatera Webb & Berthel. is an unresolved name
This name is unresolved, but some data suggest that it is synonymous with Malva linnaei M.F.Ray.
The record derives from WCSP (in review) which does not establish this name either as an accepted name or as a synonym with original publication details: Hist. Nat. Iles Canaries 1: 29 1836.

lavateraguy's picture


Even if Lavatera is maintained as separate from Malva (in the last few years there has been a movement towards grasping the nettle and merging the genera) Lavatera cretica is "obviously" one of the group of species closely related to Malva sylvestris, and should be placed in Malva.

lavateraguy's picture


The Plant Lists' data on Malvaceae isn't particularly good.

If you read Webb and Berthelot's publication you'll find that Malva pseudolavatera was explicitly introduced as a nomenclatural synonym of Lavatera cretica. It is the earliest published such synonym.

There may be earlier taxonomical synonyms, but none of them are clear cut, and most recent publications have taken up Malva pseudolavatera. One paper published the new combination Malva multiflora, based on Malope multiflora, but I am not convinced that Malope multiflora is even a Malva; Christopher Davis, formerly the BSBI Malvaceae referee, suggests that it may have been a Melochia occurring as an alien, but neither of us have seen more than Cavanilles' original validation of the name.

My recommendation is to use Malva pseudolavatera, pending examination of type material of any other potential name proving it to be of the correct species.