Marsh checkerbloom, Big Tree checkerbloom
The southern Sierra Nevada, California
Streambanks, moist meadows, from 6,000 to 9,500 feet
lower stem leaves are rounded to kidney-shaped, shallowly lobed; upper stem leaves are more deeply lobed
Sidalcea ranunculacea is found only along a hundred mile stretch of the southern Sierra Nevada, California, and like most checkerblooms it inhabits wet places, at medium elevations. One identifying feature is the interrupted arrangement of flowers in the elongated cluster, with portions of the stalk visible between adjacent groupings, though this may only be evident once the inflorescence has fully developed.
Most flowers have both pistils and stamens; petals are light pink, withering to purple, and are crossed by faint, whitish veins. Some plants produce only pistillate flowers, for which the petals are darker pink. Sepals are often reddish, and are covered both by long, silky hairs and shorter, star-shaped hairs.
Leaves grow mostly along the stem. Those towards the base are partially divided into coarsely-toothed lobes, while those higher up are more deeply lobed into simpler segments. Leaves are attached by stalks of up to 5 inches, around three times the length of the blade. Stems have a covering of long bristly hairs towards the base, and stellate hairs towards the top.