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The Kankakee Mallow has attractive flowers and foliage. This rare wildflower is endemic to Illinois, although an adventive population has been found in Indiana near a railroad. It is thought that members of a Chicago wildflower society may have established this population by throwing seeds of the Kankakee Mallow out of the window of a passing train during the early 20th century. There are some differences of opinion regarding the taxonomic classification of the Kankakee Mallow. It has been classified as the typical variety of a more western species, Iliamna rivularis (Mountain Hollyhock), and sometimes it is considered the same species as the more eastern Iliamna corei (Peter's Mountain Mallow). This last species was discovered on a sandstone outcrop in Virginia, where it was under attack by feral goats. The Kankakee Mallow differs from Peter's Mountain Mallow by having flowers that are fragrant. In general, mallows of the Iliamna genus differ from many other mallows by having 3 linear floral bracts behind the sepals of each flower.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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