Common Mallow (Malva neglecta)

Also known as Cheeses, because the seedpods look like tiny wheels of cheese. This little mallow grows in yards and vacant lots all over the city. Its flowers are small, but up close are obviously similar to Rose of Sharon, Hollyhock, and other members of the Mallow family. This plant grew along a back alley in Beechview, where it was blooming in late June.

Gray lists this species as M. rotundifolia:


Calyx with a 3-leaved involucel at the base, like an outer calyx. Petals obcordate. Styles numerous, stigmatic down the inner side. Fruit depressed, separating at maturity into as many 1-seeded and indehiscent round kidney-shaped blunt carpels as there are styles. Radicle pointing downward. (An old Latin name, from the Greek name, malache, having allusion to the emollient leaves.)

* Flowers fascicled in the axils.

M. ROTUNDIFOLIA L. (COMMON M., CHEESES.) Stems procumbent from a deep biennial root; leaves round-heart-shaped, on very long petioles, crenate, obscurely lobed; petals twice the length of the calyx, whitish; carpels pubescent, even. —Waysides and cultivated grounds, common. (Nat. from Eu.)

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