Botanical Name: Malva Parviflora
Common Names: Small-Flowered Mallow,Cheese Weed Mallow,Little Mallow,Marsh Mallow
Everyone would have seen Mallow growing wild although they may not have realised what it is. Mallow is a Biennial / Perennial plant.
Mallow can grow either prostrate (sideways)or erect(vertical) and is normally between 30cm and 60cm tall although can grow bigger.
The leaves alternate along the stem of the plant and have palmetely (palm/hand shaped) lobed leaves that can be quite large in size between 5cm to 10cm in diameter
The flowers are characterized by radial symmetry and have 5 even petals that are around 4-6mm in length and can be white or pink in colour.
The leaves, flowers,roots and seeds are all edible.
The leaves especially are a great substitute for spinach.
The flowers can be added to salads but have no great flavour.
The root and plant can be utilised as a thickener.
The seeds can be eaten raw and resemble a round of cheese although doesnt taste like cheese.(hence one of the common names, cheeseweed)
Due to the mucilage content of the mallow (gelatinous solution) it can be used as a demulcent and can be used in the treatment of inflamation and burns. It is also used to sooth coughs and ulcers.