Island mallow (Malva assurgentiflora) surveys and seed banking on San Miguel Island and Anacapa Island

Project Dates

2019 - 2022


Island mallow (Malva assurgentiflora) is a large, charismatic shrub with deep pink, hibiscus-like flowers. It is endemic to just two islands off the California coast, and on those two islands it is rare and at risk. Naturally occurring populations on Anacapa Island have been extirpated, and only three naturally occurring populations remain on San Miguel Island. Four populations have been planted in recent years on these two islands, but the overall status of this species is poorly understood. A series of actions is helping to clarify risks to this species and providing insurance against extinction. This work includes thorough surveys of the two islands, genetic work to clarify distinctions from southern island varieties and origin of planted populations, and creation of both conservation seed collections and a living collection at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden with genetic representatives that can serve as source material for future restoration needs.


To reduce the risk of island mallow extinction through a series of conservation and restoration activities

Team Members

Matt Guilliams, Ph.D.

Kristen Lehman, Ph.D.

Heather Schneider, Ph.D.


California Institute of Environmental Studies


National Park Service

Green Thumbs Can Save Us All

Learn all about native plants and explore the Garden. Sign up for our newsletter.