Plant: Annual, often ± prostrate, stiff; branches many; stem 1.5-5 dm; hairs dense, small Leaves: simple, alternate; lower 3-6 cm, oblanceolate, sparsely dentate, petioled; upper reduced, graduated to bracts INFLORESCENCE: racemes Flowers: bisexual; sepals 4, free, erect, inner pair generally sac-like at base; petals 6-9 mm, rose-violet to pink; stamens generally (2,4)6, generally 4 long, 2 short; ovary 1, superior, chambers generally 2, septum membranous, connecting 2 parietal placentas, style 1, stigma simple or 2-lobed Fruit: capsule with 2 deciduous valves, ascending, 4-6 cm, 1-1.5 mm wide, cylindric to ± 4-sided, ± narrowed between seeds; pedicel 1-2 mm; style 0, stigma lobes pointed; Seeds many, 1 row per chamber; margins 0 Misc: Disturbed areas, desert scrub; 1250-2000 m.
Herb Stem: hairy, lacking glands. Leaves: alternate, shallowly wavy-toothed, coarsely hairy on both sides (hairs star-shaped), lacking glands. Fruit: a pod, without cross-partitions between the seeds, scarcely beaked.
Similar species: No information at this time.
Habitat and ecology: Native to Africa. Our only record for this species is from along a railroad in Grundy County, Illinois, made in 1989. There eight plants were found growing in railroad ballast, at a point where vegetation ended and rock began.
Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native
Etymology: Malcolmia is named after William Malcolm, a London nurseryman. Africana means "of or from Africa."
Author: The Morton Arboretum