Common Mallow (Malva neglecta)


Malva neglecta
Photographed July 7.

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. The blooming season is very long, and can last into the winter if the weather is warmer than average. These plants grew in Beechview, where they were blooming in early July.

Cheeses

Gray lists this species as M. rotundifolia:

MALVA [Tourn.] L. MALLOW. 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. rotundifòlia 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.)

Common Mallow

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