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Common Mallow

Scientific Name:

Malva parviflora


Herbaceous Plant


Disturbed areas


Native to Europe and India; widespread as a weed around the world


No listed status

This species is


to the Truckee Meadows.


Common mallow, also known as cheeseweed mallow, is a short plant that appears similar to geraniums with thick veins on the back of its leaves. Common mallow leaves are soft and fuzzy with rough stems. These plants have multiple stems and tend to spread where they are planted, making them a “creeping” plant.

Fast Facts:

  • Common mallow is a relative of okra and when cooked, similar to okra, it becomes gelatinous in texture. It is entirely edible and a great additive to use to bind foods! For example, it is great for binding smoothies, and in the past was used by cheese makers to bind cheese.

  • In Europe, common mallow is grown as a salad green. Their flowers are often used as a salad additive, as well.

  • Common mallow is related to the marsh mallow plant which, as its name suggests, is where the first marshmallows came from. Marshmallows were created as a medicinal treat for sore throats made from the roots of the marsh mallow plant. This treat also dates back to the days of ancient Egypt where it was considered a delicacy for royalty and the gods! Today, marshmallows no longer contain the plant roots and instead consist of corn syrup.



Bridget Mulkerin (research & content)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

May 12, 2021 at 8:21:19 PM

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