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Malva alcea - L.

Common Name Vervain mallow, Hollyhock Mallow
Family Malvaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards Although we have seen no reports of toxicity for this species, when grown on nitrogen rich soils (and particularly when these are cultivated inorganically), the leaves of some species tend to concentrate high levels of nitrates in their leaves[76]. The leaves are perfectly wholesome at all other times.
Habitats Gardens, vineyards and waste places[74].
Range Europe. An occasional casual in Britain.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Malva alcea Vervain mallow, Hollyhock Mallow


(c) 2010 Ken Fern & Plants For A Future
Malva alcea Vervain mallow, Hollyhock Mallow
(c) 2010 Ken Fern & Plants For A Future

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Summary

Bloom Color: Pink. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Malva alcea is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 0.8 m (2ft 7in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to October, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Oil;  Oil;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Oil;  Oil.

Leaves - raw or cooked[74]. A mild pleasant flavour[K]. The leaves are mucilaginous and fairly bland, this is a very good perennial substitute for lettuce in a salad, producing fresh leaves from spring until the middle of summer, or until the autumn from self-sown plants[K]. Flowers - raw[K]. A very decorative addition to the salad bowl, they have a mild flavour and a texture similar to the leaves[K]. Seed - raw[74]. Best used before it is fully mature, the seed has a pleasant nutty taste but it is rather small and fiddly to harvest[K].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Demulcent;  Mouthwash.

The leaves are demulcent. They are also used as a mouthwash for inflammatory and catarrhal conditions[74].

Other Uses

Dye;  Fibre;  Oil;  Oil.

A fibre obtained from the stem is used for making cordage[74]. Cream, yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the plant and the seed heads[168]. The seed yields 15% oil[74]. The uses of this oil have not been given though it is almost certainly edible[K].

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Massing. A very easily grown plant, succeeding in ordinary garden soil[1], though it prefers a reasonably well-drained and moderately fertile soil in a sunny position[200]. A very ornamental and polymorphic plant[1, 50]. It tends to be quite short-lived in cultivation but usually self-sows when well-sited[233, K]. It is closely related to M. excisa[74]. If the plant is cut back to the ground as it comes into flower, then it will produce a fresh flush of leaves for salads[K]. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233] and are seldom bothered by slugs[K]. Plants are prone to infestation by rust fungus[200]. Special Features: Not North American native, Naturalizing, Extended bloom season in Zones 9A and above.

Propagation

Seed - best sown in early spring in a cold frame. The seed germinates quickly and easily. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in their permanent positions in the early summer[K]. If you have sufficient seed then it can be sown outdoors in situ in the middle to late spring. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
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Abutilon megapotamicumTrailing Abutilon40
Abutilon ochsenii 30
Abutilon pictumAbutilon, Parlour Maple, Flowering Maple, Spotted30
Abutilon purpurascens 20
Abutilon species 30
Abutilon theophrastiChina Jute, Velvetleaf, Butterprint Buttonweed Jute, China Mallow, Indian Velvet Leaf32
Abutilon vitifolium 30
Abutilon x hybridumChinese Lantern, Flowering Maple30
Abutilon x milleriTrailing Abutilon30
Abutilon x suntense 30
Adansonia digitataBaobab, Judas Fruit, Monkey Bread Tree33
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Althaea cannabinaPalm-leaf marshmallow00
Althaea officinalisMarsh Mallow, Common marshmallow55
Bombax ceibaRed Silk Cotton Tree, Kapok Tree22
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Callirhoe digitataFinger Poppy Mallow, Winecup20
Callirhoe involucrataPoppy Mallow, Purple poppymallow, Winecup, Finger Poppy Mallow32
Callirhoe leiocarpaTall Poppy-Mallow20
Ceiba aesculifoliaPochote21
Ceiba pentandraKapok Tree, Cotton Tree, Suma'ma33
Cola acuminataCola Nut, Kola, Bissy Nut34
Cola nitidaCola Nut, Kola, Bissy Nuts34
Durio dulcisDurian Marangang, Merangang, Red Durian, Tutong, Lahong40
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Gossypium barbadenseSea Island Cotton22
Gossypium herbaceumShort-Staple American Cotton (Cotton )23
123

 

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Botanical References

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