Common mallow

Malva sylvestris

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By KENPEI - KENPEI's photo, CC BY-SA 3.0, -


Malva sylvestris, or mallow, is a biennial/perennial and part of the malvaceae family. It is found in wastelands and roadsides and strongly prefers alkaline soil. Mallow grows to about 50cm and blooms in early summer to early fall. 

Applied externally a poultice of malva leaves and flowers can reduce inflammation and irritation due to bruises or insect bites. Taken internally this same combination can be used in the treatment of the respiratory or digestive system. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked and are a good thickener for soups. The flowers make an attractive garnish or addition to salads. Additionally a fiber obtained from the stems can be used in textile and paper making.