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  • Section: Herbalism /Monday 13th October 2014

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    * Malva *


    (Wikipedia) - Malva For other uses, see Malva (disambiguation). Malva Scientific classification Type species Species Synonyms
    Malva sylvestris
    Kingdom: Plantae
    (unranked): Angiosperms
    (unranked): Eudicots
    (unranked): Rosids
    Order: Malvales
    Family: Malvaceae
    Subfamily: Malvoideae
    Tribe: Malveae
    Genus: Malva L.
    M. sylvestris

    About 25–30; see text.

    Axolopha (DC.) Alef. Dinacrusa G.Krebs

    Malva sylvestris

    Malva is a genus of about 25–30 species of herbaceous annual, biennial, and perennial plants in the family Malvaceae (of which it is the type genus), one of several closely related genera in the family to bear the common English name mallow. The genus is widespread throughout the temperate, subtropical and tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Europe. The word "mallow" is derived from Old English "malwe", which was imported from Latin "malva", cognate with Ancient Greek μαλάχη (malakhē) meaning "mallow", both perhaps reflecting a Mediterranean term. A number of species, previously considered to belong to Lavatera, have been moved to Malva.

    The leaves are alternate, palmately lobed. The flowers are from 0.5–5 cm diameter, with five pink or white petals.

    The colour mauve was in 1859 named after the French name for this plant.


    Cultivation and uses
    This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2010)

    Several species are widely grown as garden flowers, while some are invasive weeds, particularly in the Americas where they are not native.

    Many species are edible as leaf vegetables and commonly foraged in the West. Known as ebegümeci in Turkish, it is used as vegetable in Turkey in various forms such as stuffing the leaves with bulgur or rice or using the boiled leaves as side dish. Malva verticillata (Chinese: 冬寒菜; pinyin: dōngháncài, Korean: 아욱 auk) is grown on a limited commercial scale in China; when made as a herbal infusion, it is used for its colon cleansing properties and as a weight loss supplement.

    Very easily grown, short-lived perennials often grown as ornamental plants. Mild tasting young mallow leaves can be a substitute for lettuce, whereas older leaves are better cooked as a leafy green vegetable. The buds and flowers can be used in salads.

    Cultivation is by sowing the seeds directly outdoors in early spring. The seed is easy to collect, and they will often spread themselves by seed.

    In Catalonia (Southern Europe) they use the leaves to cure stinging nettles sting.

    Bodo tribals in Bodoland, Assam (Northeast India) cultivate a sub-species of malva and use it extensively in their traditional cuisine, although its use is not much known among other people of India. Malva Leaves are a highly cherished vegetable dish in north Indian state of Kashmir. It is called "Soachal".

    Malva sp. leaves have been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally as tea or externally as baths for treatment of disorders of the skin, gastrointestinal tract and respiratory tract.


    This plant is one of the earliest cited in recorded literature. Horace mentions it in reference to his own diet, which he describes as very simple: "Me pascunt olivae, me cichorea, me malvae" ("As for me, olives, endives, and mallows provide sustenance"). Lord Monboddo describes his translation of an ancient epigram that demonstrates malva was planted upon the graves of the ancients, stemming from the belief that the dead could feed on such perfect plants.

    Species list
    • Malva aegyptia
    • Malva aethiopica C.J.S. Davis
    • Malva alcea L. – Greater Musk-mallow, Vervain Mallow
    • Malva assurgentiflora – Island Mallow, Mission Mallow, Royal Mallow, Island Tree Mallow
    • Malva brasiliensis Desr. – Brazilian Mallow
    • Malva canariensis
    • Malva cathayensis
    • Malva cretica
    • Malva dendromorpha – Tree Mallow
    • Malva hispanica
    • Malva microcarpa
    • Malva microphylla
    • Malva mohileviensis
    • Malva moschata L. – Musk-mallow
    • Malva neglecta – Dwarf Mallow, Buttonweed, Cheeseplant, Cheeseweed, Common Mallow, Roundleaf Mallow
    • Malva nicaeensis All. – French Mallow, Bull Mallow
    • Malva pacifica
    • Malva parviflora L. – Least Mallow, Cheeseweed, Cheeseweed Mallow, Small-whorl Mallow
    • Malva preissiana – Australian Hollyhock
    • Malva pseudolavatera
    • Malva pusilla – Small Mallow
    • Malva qaiseri
    • Malva rotundifolia L. – Low Mallow
    • Malva stipulacea
    • Malva subovata
    • Malva sylvestris L. – Common Mallow, High Mallow
    • Malva transcaucasica
    • Malva tournefortiana
    • Malva trifida
    • Malva verticillata L. – Chinese Mallow, Cluster Mallow


    Tags:Africa, Asia, Australian, Austrian, China, Chinese, Europe, French, Greek, India, Kashmir, Lord, Malva, Malva sylvestris, Mediterranean, Turkey, Turkish, Wikipedia

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