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Kevin Doyle

Glade Mallow (Napaea dioica)

Life history

Species overview

Glade Mallow (Napaea dioica), a Wisconsin Special Concern plant, is found in alluvial meadows, ditches, and forest margins near large rivers. Blooming occurs early June through early August; fruiting occurs early August through late September. The optimal identification period for this species is early July through late August.

Synonyms: Napaea dioica f. stellata


  • Distinguishing characteristics: The leaves of this species are very characteristic and can be used to distinguish it from any other species.
  • Flower characteristics: Flowers many in a large, terminal panicle; calyx 5 to 8 mm, sparsely hairy or smooth, lobes shorter than the tube; petals white, those of staminate flowers 5 to 9 mm, those of pistillate flowers much smaller.
  • Fruit characteristics: Mature carpels 5 mm, ribbed on the back.
  • Leaf characteristics: Round, 1 to 3 dm, deeply 5- to 9-lobed or parted; lobes coarsely toothed or incised.


  • Blooming phenology: early June through early August
  • Fruiting phenology: early August through late September
  • Optimum time to identify: early July through late August


  • Growth form: Forb-erect
  • Vegetative reproduction:
  • Life cycle: Perennial
  • Comments: Associated Species: Heracleum lanatum, Angelica atropurpurea, Silphium perfoliatum, Rudbeckia laciniata, Potentilla arguta, Cypripedium candidum, Eryngium yuccifolium, Eupatorium perfoliatum.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

Glade Mallow (Napaea dioica) is on the "watch list." Watch list species have experienced, or are believed to have experienced, a statewide or range wide decline, but they are not currently tracked in the Natural Heritage Inventory (NHI) database. The watch list includes newly discovered species for which origin and rarity need to be determined, certain animals designated as Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in the Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan, and species that were tracked in the past but proved more abundant, widespread or less vulnerable than previously thought. Although watch list species are not actively tracked by NHI, occurrences documented during surveys are often stored by NHI, as these species could be tracked in the future if there is further evidence of their decline.

Summary Information
State StatusSC
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS3
Global RankG4
Tracked by NHIW

Habitats and landscapes

The Natural Heritage Inventory has developed scores indicating the degree to which each of Wisconsin's rare plant species is associated with a particular natural community or ecological landscape. This information is similar to that found in the Wildlife Action Plan for animals. As this is a work in progress, we welcome your suggestions and feedback.

General habitat information

  • Habitat description: Found in alluvial meadows, ditches, and forest margins near large rivers.
  • Soils: Moist, alluvial soils.

Natural communities

This table lists the natural communities that are associated with Glade Mallow. Scores for natural community associations are: "significant" association (score=3), "moderate association" (score=2) or the species can be present but is only weakly associated with the community (score=1).

Natural communities score
Floodplain Forest 2
Southern Sedge Meadow 3

Ecological landscapes

This table lists the ecological landscape association scores for Glade Mallow. The scores (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None) also correspond to the map.

Map of the Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin.

Species guidance

The Endangered Resources Program has developed avoidance measures and management guidelines for plants on the Natural Heritage Working List. These are a work in progress, and we welcome your suggestions and feedback. Sources used in developing this information can be found here.

Avoidance measures

These are specific actions designed to avoid "take" (mortality) of this species.

  • Avoid broadcast spraying of herbicides; use care with spot spraying.
  • Avoid known individual plant locations and conduct operations elsewhere when they are least likely to cause damage. Ideally, this would involve frozen, snow-covered ground. However, in areas of the state where frozen conditions are unreliable, very dry soils late in the growing season might be the best available alternative. Consult with a biologist, if needed.

Management guidance

Management guidelines are additional considerations that may help maintain or enhance habitat for this species

  • Minimize disturbance to hydrology, including soil disturbance from rutting.
  • Survey for and control invasive plants prior to conducting timber operations, as these can be spread by vehicles and often respond vigorously to increased light; see forestry BMPs for invasive species.
  • Maintain and restore open habitat through selective clearing and brushing.
  • Prescribed burns and/or brushing may be beneficial (dependent on local site conditions).


Glade Mallow  Photo.

Photo by Thomas Meyer, Wisconsin DNR.

Glade Mallow  Photo.

Photo by Thomas Meyer, Wisconsin DNR.

Glade Mallow  Photo.

Photo © Kitty Kohout.

Glade Mallow  Photo.

Photo © R. Barloga.

Glade Mallow  Photo.

Photo © William S. Alverson.

Glade Mallow  Photo.

Photo © Robert H. Read.

Glade Mallow  Photo.

Photo © Robert H. Read.

Support for Wisconsin's rare plant information has been provided by the Division of Forestry, the Endangered Resources Fund and the Wisconsin Rare Plant Preservation Fund. To donate, visit the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin [exit DNR].

Last revised: Wednesday, January 13, 2016
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