Malva: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information about malva

Malva sylvestris is a spreading herb of the Malvaceae family. This plant is an annual in North Africa, biennial in the Mediterranean, and a perennial elsewhere. Malva typically grows to around 3-6 feet tall with up to 9 foot plants having been been observed in the wild or in an escaped-from-cultivation setting. They can be straight or decumbent; they can be branched and covered with fine soft hairs or with none at all.

Malva flowers are a showy, bright mauve-purple, lined with dark veins. When the flowers first bloom in June, the plant is vibrant and lush, but as the summer advances, the malva plant's leaves lose their deep green color and the stems assume a ragged appearance.

common names & nomenclature
The flowers turn blue when they begin to fade, thus the common name Blue Mallow.

Also known as:
common mallow, high mallow, cheeses, tall mallow , blue mallow

Malva: Where in the World
habitat and range for malva

Malva sylvestris has migrated from its native home in Western Europe, North Africa and Asia through the English speaking world.

Malva: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting malva

Malva or mallow will grow freely in sunny fields, hedgerows and in fallow fields.

Prefers a reasonably well-drained and moderately fertile soil.

This plant is extremely easy to grow. Seeds can been sown directly in the garden in early spring. Germination can be expected within 2 weeks.

Fresh malva leaves can be used whenever they are available or they can be harvested in the spring and dried for later use. Malva flowers are harvested in the summer and can also be dried for later use.

Store dried malva and dried malva flowers in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.