Malva Real Anchorage, Santa Cruz Island

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Malva Real Anchorage, Santa Cruz Island

The island tree mallow (Lavatera assurgentiflora), malva rosa in Spanish, is absent from this location today. This place name appears on the Santa Cruz Island Sheet B topographic map.

In the News~

January 19, 1920 Clifford McElrath wrote to Santa Barbara's Sheriff Ross: “We have granted camping permits to several crawfishing outfits this season, charging a nominal rent [$2.50 for the season]. Among those granted we gave one to Frank Hansen (Wild Man). On the 15th of this month I met two of the riders from one of the ranches in the hills. They told me they had just visited the Wild Man's camp and found evidence of his killing sheep. At the place where I met them called Malva Real, we found fresh sheep skin evidence he killed that same morning. This skin we took with us. As I could see Hansen and his two partners approaching the shore in a boat, I waited for them. I wanted to see what they would do. They attempted to treat the matter as a joke and said of course they took the meat, they needed it, but claimed that particular hide was given them at one of the other islands. Our sheep as you know are not branded which probably makes the hide of little value for evidence. What chance do you think there is of convicting these men if I swore out a warrant for their arrest?”

April 30, 1922 [LAT]: “The padres planted the tree mallow about the various missions, and the early Spanish-Mexican settlers seemed to favor it as a garden shrub, which, perhaps, has been the reason for the general impression that it was brought from Spain. The fact seems to be well established, however, that it is a native of the Santa Barbara and other islands off the coast of Southern California. It seems to be indigenous to every one of the larger islands, but not at all to the mainland. It was probably brought over from the islands soon after the first Spanish settlements were made here. It differs materially on the different islands where it is found in a wild state—so much so that botanists are inclined to make several species out of it. This fact becomes especially interesting when we remember that the islands form a chain, made up of the peaks and ridges of a ‘drowned’ mountain range. The question naturally arises, how long ago was there only one species of the tree mallow? Also, why did it inhabit only one mountain range, when but twenty miles or so across a valley to the north and east lay a very similar range?”