Malvales are an order of flowering plants. It includes about 6000 species within nine families.
The plants are mostly shrubs and trees; most of its families have a cosmopolitan distribution in the tropics and subtropics with limited expansion into temperate regions.
Many species of Malvaceae s.l. are known for their wood, with that of Ochroma (balsa) being known for its lightness, and that of Tilia (lime, linden, or basswood) as a popular wood for carving. The cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) is used as an ingredient for chocolate. Kola nuts (genus Cola) are notable for their high content of caffeine, and in past were commonly used for preparing of various cola drinks. Other well-known members of Malvales are daphnes, hibiscus, hollyhocks, okra, baobab trees, cotton, and kapok.