Mallow characteristics

What is a mallow?

Characteristics of mallow (Malva silvestris)

Mallow drawing
Mallow drawing. Courtesy of

Common noun: Common mallow, high mallow

Scientific noun: Malva sylvestris L.

Family: Mallow family – Malvaceae

Habitat: By the side of the paths, waste lands and dry grasslands.

Mallow description

Perennial plant of the mallow family – malvaceae – up to 1,5 m.

Hairy stems, ligneous at the base, lying or erect.

Very variable leaves, generally palmately divided and lobed, with toothed lobes, and long stalks.

Pink or purple flowers, with darker purple veins, 2 to 4 cm wide. Sepals twice or four times smaller than petals.

Fruits with protruding angles, downy.

Picking-up and storing mallows

Spring is the best season to collect the flowers before they are in their bloom. Leaves should be collected when the plant is in full bloom either in Spring or Summer. They should be kept in a dry air-tightened container.

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Mallow uses

Mallow is a woody-stemmed perennial used as:

  • Edible plant: The leaves are eaten as a vegetable, raw in salad or cooked in soups or garnishes.
  • Dye plant: The flowers and leaves are used for dyeing.
  • For its fiber: The fiber from the stems of this plant can be used to make paper and rope.
  • As a medicinal plant

punto rojo More information on mallow

This article was endorsed by Julián Masats - Technical agricultural engineer specialized in horticulture and gardening.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

5 November, 2021

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