Random Plant: Common mallow

Common mallow (Malva neglecta, Malvaceae) photographed 06/07/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

Widespread and occurring in disturbed areas, common mallow (Malva neglecta, Malvaceae) was introduced to North America from Eurasia (Brandenburg 2010).  This plant features low clusters of round or kidney-shaped leaves and small white flowers with pink stripes.  I noticed the flowers close at night.

Common mallow (Malva neglecta, Malvaceae) photographed 06/07/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

Common mallow is also called “cheeses,” but I have no idea where that name came from.  This plant seems to have little in common with a particular cheese, much less multiple varieties of cheeses.  The only similarity I could find is that it’s apparently edible and may be both nutritious and flavorful.  Culinary or medicinal value is often the reason behind the introduction of alien plants.

Literature cited:

Brandenburg, D.M.  2010.  National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Wildflowers of North America.  Andrew Stewart Publishing, Inc., New York, NY.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Random Plant and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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