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MALVA neglecta

Image of Malva neglecta

Jesse Saylor

Family

Malvaceae

Botanical Name

MALVA neglecta

Plant Common Name

Common Mallow

General Description

A prolific weed found across most of North America, common mallow is a prostrate to upright annual or short-lived perennial from Eurasia and North Africa. It produces many small, white, often lilac-striped mallow blooms along sprawling to erect stems lined with crinkly, round leaves. It tends to inhabit open fields, disturbed lands, waste ground and roadsides and can withstand growing in very poor soils.

Habit varies widely among individual plants, but all have crinkly, fuzzy, heavily veined leaves that are reniform (kidney-shaped). Bloom typically spans several weeks in summer, but may also occur in spring or fall. The five-petaled flowers have a central floral column lined with yellow anthers. Fuzzy, green, leaf-like calyces surround the flowers. All manner of insects pollinate the blooms and radial, seed-filled, capsule fruits that look like wheels of cheese follow.

This sun-loving weed is easy to manage so long as it's not allowed to set and release its seed. It's easy to identify and remove early in the season before it sets flower.

Like marshmallow (Althaea officinalis), Malva neglecta contains a mucilaginous substance useful as a food thickener.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 10

  • Plant Type

    Annual

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    8"-36" / 20.3cm - 91.4cm

  • Width

    10"-18" / 25.4cm - 45.7cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Europe, Northern Africa, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Prostrate/Trailing

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White, Purple, Lavender

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Striped

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes