Malva parviflora

Botanical Name :Malva parviflora
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Malva
Species: M. parviflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Common Names: Cheeseweed, Cheeseweed mallow, Egyptian mallow, Least mallow, Little mallow, Mallow, Marshmallow, Small-flowered mallow, Small-flowered marshmallow and Smallflower mallow

Habitat :Malva parviflora is native to Northern Africa, Europe and Asia and is widely naturalised elsewhere.  Grows in desert, Upland, Mountain, Riparian. It often grows in disturbed areas like vacant lots and drainage ditches, and in the desert, it can be found growing in mesquite bosques.

Description:
Malva parviflora is an annual, biennial or Perennial herbiculas plant, growing up to 40 inch.  The flowers emerge from the base of the leaf stalks. The individual flowers are 1/4 inch (6 mm) wide and have 5 petals that are similar in length to the green sepals. The flowers are followed by wrinkled, disk-like, fruits that are sectioned into lobes that look like slices from a wheel of cheese. The leaves are dark green and have 5 to 7 toothed, rounded lobes.

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The similar Common Mallow (Malva neglecta) has flowers with petals longer than the sepals.

Flower Color: White, Lavender pink, Lavender

Flowering Season: Spring, Summer

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

It is hardy to zone 0 and is not frost tender.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
A very easily grown plant, succeeding in ordinary garden soil, though it prefers a reasonably well-drained and moderately fertile soil in a sunny position. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. Plants are prone to infestation by rust fungus

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Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in situ. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves; Seed.

Leaves – raw or cooked as a potherb. A mild pleasant flavour, they make a very acceptable alternative to lettuce in salads. Immature seeds – raw or cooked. They are used to make a creamed vegetable soup that resembles pea soup. A few leaves are also added for colouring. The seeds have a pleasant nutty flavour, though they are too small for most people to want to collect in quantity.

Medicinal Uses:
Antidandruff; Demulcent; Emollient; Pectoral; Skin.

The whole plant is emollient and pectoral. It can be used as a poultice on swellings, running sores and boils. The seeds are demulcent. They are used in the treatment of coughs and ulcers in the bladder. A decoction of the roots or leaves has been used as a hair rinse to remove dandruff and to soften the hair.

The bruised leaves have been rubbed on the skin to treat skin irritations.  A strained tea of the boiled leaves has been administered after childbirth to clean out the mother’s system.  As a headache remedy, the leaves or the whole plant have been mashed and placed on the forehead.  Powdered leaves have been blown into the throat to treat swollen glands.  The leaves have been used to induce perspiration and menstrual flow, reduce fever, and treat pneumonia. The whole plant can be used as a poultice on swellings, running sores and boils.  The seeds are used in the treatment of coughs and ulcers in the bladder.  A decoction of the roots or leaves has been used as a hair rinse to remove dandruff and to soften the hair.

Other Uses
Dye; Hair; Oil.

The seed contains up to 18% of a fatty oil. No more details are given, though the oil is likely to be edible. Cream, yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the plant and the seed heads. A decoction of the roots or leaves has been used as a hair rinse to soften the hair.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malva_parviflora
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Malva+parviflora

Malva parviflora – Cheeseweed Mallow

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2 thoughts on “Malva parviflora”

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