Common Mallow (Malva neglecta) aka Cheeses
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Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow Lake
Common Mallow (Malva neglecta) aka Cheeses

(Common Mallow - 01)  Common mallow is a member of the Mallow family.  It is a native of Europe, or Eurasia and North Africa, depending on the source of the information, and was imported to the United States from Europe.  Under the right conditions, this wild flower can form a thick mat with heights of 4-8 inches.



(Common Mallow - 01a)  The common mallow blooms from April to October.  The flowers of the common mallow measure about 1/2 inch across, and have five pink petals with dark pink veining (the color of the petals can vary from white to lavender).  Common mallow flowers have numerous stamens and the ovary has a ring of 13 carpels.   The leaves are palmate or petiolate shaped, toothed, with five to seven lobes. The leaves grow alternately along the stem.




(Common Mallow - 02)  According to the literature, common mallow flowers, leaves and young shoots are edible, either raw or cooked, but there is a caution not to eat them from nitrogen rich or fertilized soil, particularly when these sources are inorganic, as the plant tends to concentrate the nitrogen in the leaves.  The leaves have a mild flavor and are very nutritious, which is most likely one of the reason why this wildflower was imported to the USA by European settlers.


(Common Mallow - 02a)  In this photo we can see two of the beautiful common mallow flowers beginning to open.  Another reason this wildflower was probably imported was for its medicinal uses.  According to the literature, all parts of the plant have astringent properties that counteract inflammations and sooth and soften the skin when applied locally.  When eaten, common mallow has laxative and diuretic properties.



(Common Mallow - 02b)  This is another view of the common mallow flowers and leaves.  Another interesting tidbit about the common mallow is that the root was used as a tooth brush.  The name "cheeses" comes from the shape of the fruit which is round and flat like a wheel of cheese.





(Common Mallow - 03)  In this photo, we have a side view of a semi-erect common mallow.  Part of the reason for the taller appearance is that the plant has supported itself on an adjacent evergreen shrub.  Even though two leaves have been broken off, their stems remain to show the way the leaves grow alternately along the stem.  We can also see that the flowers growing from the leaf axils.



(Common Mallow - 03a)  In this photo, we have a closer look at the common mallow flowers growing from the leaf axils.  In this side view we can also see the the common mallow calyx has small bracts, but in the bud stage, the bracts completely surround the flower.  Also note the congestion of new growth at the top of the stem.





(Common Mallow - 03b)  This is another look at the common mallow flowers and buds.  As we learn to appreciate the little things of this world, we begin to understand that every plant and animal has their own intrinsic value, that we humans should protect.  And in particular to the other animals of this earth: because they can feel pain, we need to understand that God has given them the RIGHT to be free of human inflicted pain and suffering.



(Common Mallow - 03c)  The open common mallow flower has dumped a small pile of pollen on the leaf stem, below.






(Common Mallow - 04)  In this photo, we can see that some of the local insects dined on some of the leaves of the common mallow.





(Common Mallow - 05)  One of our reference sources refers to common mallow as a weed, but to us it's a beautiful wild flower created by God.  This difference in understanding is a perfect example of why we have so many problems in this world.  As has been said, a weed is a plant for which humans have not places a value; so if people cannot recognize the intrinsic value of this wildflower, such as the common mallow, how are they ever going to learn to recognize the value of other humans and animals, and end our warring madness.


(Common Mallow - 05a)  In this close up of the common mallow's new growth, we can see the hairiness of the bracts, and underside of the leaves.






| Wild Flowers of SHL: Photo Identification, Common Name, Scientific Name | Art and Photos |

Presented here are just a few of the countless components of God's creation.  Just as we cannot have human and animal life without water and plants, neither can we have lasting peace without love and compassion.  It is our hope and prayer that this series will motivate people to live and act in a cruelty-free manner; that we would no longer hurt or destroy each other, the animals or our environment.

If  you would like to contribute a photo to these series, please contact;
Frank L. Hoffman

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