Malva sylvestris L.

2050 (3). M. sylvestris L., Sp. Pl. ed. 1 (1753) 689; Hayek, Prodr. Fl. Periins. Balc. I (1925) 546; Dalby, Fl. Eur. II (1968) 250; M. Sylvestris f. angustifolia (Celak.) Hayek, op. c. 547; M. sylvestris var. angustifolia Čelak., Prodr Fl. Bohm. III (1875) 515; M. sylvestris f. hispidula (Beck) Hayek, I.e.; M. syl­vestris var. hispidula Beck, Fl. Nieder-Österr. 2 (1892) 538; M. sylvestris var. erecta (J. et C. Presl) Stoj. et Stef., Фл. Бълг. изд. 1, II (1925) 747; M. erecta J. et C. Presl, Del. Prag. I (1822) 30; M. sylvestris var. ambigua (Guss.) Posp., Fl. Österr. Kustenl. II (1898) 18; M. ambigua Guss., Fl. Sic. Prodr. 11(1828) 321; M. ambigua f. microphylla (Rouy et Fouc.) Hayek, 1. c.; M . ambigua var. mycrophylla Rouy et Fouc., Fl. Fr. IV (1897) 35 — Горски слез 

Fam:   Malvaceae Juss.
Genus:   Malva L.
Species: Malva sylvestris L.
English Name: Cmmon mallow, Cheeses, High mallow and Tall mallow (mauve des bois


Annual to perennial plant. Roots spindly, slightly branched, fleshy. Stems 25 - 150 cm high, erect, ascending or lying, most often branched, they were stiff at the base; with scattered, located on clear warts with simple and starlike hairs, sometimes completely naked to densely fibrous, rarely fibrous only at the bottom. Stipule 3 - 6 mm long, triangularly ovate, pale green or tunicate; naked, the edge of the eyelashes. Leaves 20 - 80 mm long and 25 - 100 mm wide; basal rounded, with the edge of the eyelashes shares, irregularly rounded toothed; middle and upper leaves kidney-shaped, 3 - 7 more or less (not more than 1/3 of the length of the leaf blade) deep, semi-rounded to oblong circular toothed shares; all leaves slightly fibrous to naked at the top, ciliate at the edge glabrous to white fibrous; petioles 10 - 150 mm long, with more or less abundant simple or starlike hairs, most dense to the lamina. Blossom petioles 15 - 40 mm long, with starlike and downward simple hairs; when the fruit is erect to horizontally spread. The axil are numerous; 2 to 6 or more (sometimes up to 14) in the axils of the leaves and top irregular clustered inflorescences. External sepals 4 - 5 mm long, oblong lance to elliptic; outside bare to densely starlike, fibrous, rarely with single simple hairs, fringed on the edge; inside bare; inner 5 - 6 mm long, fused from half to 2/3, with triangular to ovate triangular pointed free shares; outside with long simple and thick short starlike hairs; internally short, star-shaped, fibrous, non-expanding or slightly expanding, straight or covering the fruit. Petals 15 - 30 mm long, ovate back, deeply incised at the top, the nail long silky fibrous; purple pink with dark veins. Stamens 10 - 12 mm long, with starlike hairs. Fruit 5 - 10 mm in diameter, disintegrating into 9 - 12 dark brown, tearing at the ripening of the seed fruiting shares: the dorsal wall of the last mesh-wrinkled or polygonal wells, naked or scattered to densely fibrous; lateral walls radially furrowed, naked; edges sharp but not winged. Seeds are dark brown, small and uniformly wrinkled, glabrous.

Note. 1. The following are indicated for Bulgaria: M. sylvestris var. dasycarpa Beck (Middle Rhodopes - Bachkovo, Vandas, 1909); M. sylvestris var. incanescens Griseb. (Black Sea coast - Varna, Stoyan. Stephan Kitan. 1967); Sofia District (Sofia, 1st c.) And Thracian Plain (Karlovo, Vandas, 1909); M. sylvestris f. glabriuscula (Peterm.) Hayek (Stoyan. Steph. Keaton. 1967).
2. The species is highly polymorphic in terms of habitus, inductum, leaf and petal shape, length of leaf and flower stalks. This has led a number of authors to describe many intraspecific taxa, which in most cases are described without clearly correlated features. On the other hand, due to human activity M. sylvestris is widespread. It is hardly possible to establish the taxonomic value of these taxa, their origin and distribution

From:   „Флора на Н Р България”, том VII, БАН, София, (1979)

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Malva sylvestris is a species of the mallow genus Malva in the family of Malvaceae and is considered to be the type species for the genus. Known as common mallow to English-speaking Europeans,[3] it acquired the common names of cheeses, high mallow and tall mallow (mauve des bois by the French)[4] as it migrated from its native home in Western Europe, North Africa and Asia through the English-speaking world.[5]
M. sylvestris is a vigorous plant with showy flowers of bright mauve-purple, with dark veins, standing 3–4 feet (0.91–1.22 m) high and growing freely in meadows, hedgerows and in fallow fields.[6]

Common names

It is one of several species of different genera sometimes referred to as Creeping Charlie, a term more commonly applied to Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy).[7]


Malva sylvestris is a spreading[3] herb,[8] which is an annual in North Africa,[9] biennial[5][10] in the Mediterranean[9] and a perennial elsewhere.[9][8] It can be straight or decumbent,[3][8] branched, and covered with fine soft hairs or none at all,[10] M. sylvestris is pleasing in appearance when it first starts to flower, but as the summer advances, "the leaves lose their deep green color and the stems assume a ragged appearance".[6]


The leaves are borne upon the stem, are roundish, with numerous lobes, each 2–4 centimetres (0.79–1.57 in) long, 2–5 centimetres (0.79–1.97 in) and 5–10 centimetres (2.0–3.9 in) in diameter.[8] The leaves have hairs radiating from a common center, with prominent veins on the underside.[6]


Described as reddish-purple,[10] bright pinkish-purple with dark stripes[3] and bright mauve-purple,[6] the flowers of Malva sylvestris appear in axillary clusters[8] of 2 to 4[5] and form irregularly and elongated along the main stem with the flowers at the base opening first.[8]
M. sylvestris has an epicalyx (or false calyx) with oblong segments, two-thirds as long as calyx[8] or 2–3 millimeters long and 1.5 millimeters wide.[5] Its calyx is free to the middle, 3–6 millimeters long,[5] with broadly triangular lobes[5] or ovate mostly 5–7 millimeters long.[8] The flowers are 2–4 times as long as the calyx;[10]


Nutlets strongly reticulate (10–12 mericarps, usually without hair, with sharp angle between dorsal and lateral surfaces, 5–6 mm in diameter.[3][5]


Also called 'cheeses,'[6] seeds are brown to brownish green when ripe, about 2.5 millimeters long and wide[5][8] 5 to 7 millimeters in diameter[8] and are shaped like a cheese wheel.


Malva sylvestris spreads itself on waste and rough ground, by roads and railways throughout lowland England, Wales and Channel Islands, Siberia and scattered elsewhere.[3][10] It has been introduced to and has become naturalised in eastern Australia,[8] in the United States, Canada, and Mexico as an invasive species.[10]

In the wild

Macaronesia: Azores, Madeira Islands
Northern Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco
Arabian Peninsula: Saudi Arabia
Western Asia: Afghanistan, Sinai, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey
Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ciscaucasia, Dagestan, Georgia
Soviet Middle Asia: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Mongolia: Mongolia
China: Xinjiang
Indian Subcontinent: Bhutan, India, Pakistan
Northern Europe: Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom
Middle Europe: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland
East Europe: Belarus, Central Russia, Central Black Earth, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Northern Russia, North Caucasus, Northwestern Russia, Volga, Urals, Volga-Vyatka, Ukraine
Southeastern Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Montenegro, Sardinia, Serbia, Sicily, Slovenia, Romania, Cyprus
Southwestern Europe: Balearic Islands, Corsica, France, Portugal, Spain
Source: USDA ARS GRIN[4]


In 1931, Maud Grieve wrote that the "use of this species of Mallow has been much superseded by marsh-mallow (Althaea officinalis), which possesses its properties in a superior degree, but it is still a favorite remedy with country people where marsh-mallow is not obtainable."[6] The flowers were spread on doorways and woven into garlands or chaplets for celebrating May Day.[6] The boiled young leaves are a vegetable eaten in several parts of Europe in the 19th century.[11]
In Morocco, Tunisia and Palestine, Malva leaves are steamed with garlic and tomatoes, and eaten as an appetizer or salad.[12] In Egypt, the leaves are made into a stew-like vegetable dish, specially in winter, known as khobeiza, which is similar to Molokheia.[13]
In traditional medicine, M. sylvestris has been used in herbalism. Mucilage is present in many of the family Malvaceae including M. sylvestris,[14][15] especially the fruit.[16] The seeds are used internally in a decoction or herbal tea as a demulcent,[11] and the leaves may be used in poultices as an emollient for external applications.[16]
The species has long been used as a natural yellow dye,[17] but dyes of various yellow-green colors can be obtained from the plant and its seeds.[18] A tincture of the flowers can make a sensitive test for alkalis.[6]


Plants previously often described as Malva sylvestris var. malaca are now considered a Cultivar Group Malva sylvestris Mauritiana Group.[9]


It is often grown as an ornamental plant for its attractive flowers, produced for a long period through the summer. Numerous cultivars have been selected and named.
Cultivars of Malva sylvestris include: 'Annita', 'Aurora', 'Bardsey Blue', 'Blue Fountain', 'Brave Heart', 'Cottenham Blue', 'Gibbortello', 'Harry Hay', 'Highnam', 'Inky Stripe', 'Knockout', 'Magic Hollyhock', 'Mest', 'Mystic Merlin', 'Perry's Blue', 'Purple Satin', 'Richard Perry', 'Tournai', 'Windsor Castle', 'Zebrina' (soft lavender-purple striped with deep maroon veins) [19] and 'Zebrina Zebra Magis'.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Flowering Time: Blooms: V - IX.

Distribution in Bulgaria: Growing in ruderal places, in the plains, foothills and mountains. Widespread, from sea level up to 1400 m altitude. (Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.

Distribution: Europe, Asia, South Africa, America, Australia.

Conservation status and threats: not protected species in Bulgaria by the Biodiversity Law. - Biological Diversity Act -

Medical plant: yes, it is medical plant. - Medicinal Plants Act -

References: „Флора на Н Р България”, том VII, БАН, София, (1979), Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.


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