Malva sylvestris L.

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Malva sylvestris

Photo: Bart Wursten
Park Kapermolen, Hasselt Belgium

Malva sylvestris

Photo: Bart Wursten
Park Kapermolen, Hasselt Belgium

Malva sylvestris

Photo: Bart Wursten
Park Kapermolen, Hasselt Belgium

Malva sylvestris

Photo: Bart Wursten
Josef Vermaesenplein, Malderen, Belgium

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Common names: Common mallow (English)
Status: Introduced
Erect perennial herb, up to 1 m tall. Leaves 5-10 cm in diameter, very shallowly lobed to more or less deeply 5-lobed, hairless except on the main veins; margin crenate to crenulate-serrate; petiole mostly 4-9 cm long, sometimes longer; stipules obliquely ovate, 5-10 mm long. Flowers, 2.5-5 cm in diameter, mauve-purple with light magenta or darker purple veins, borne in in 2-5-flowered clusters. Epicalyx bracts 3, oblong-lanceolate, c. two thirds the length of the calyx. Fruit of 9-11 mericarps, reticulate, usually hairless.
Derivation of specific name: sylvestris: of woods or forests
Habitat: Known as a rare escape in and around major cities.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Native to Europe. Known in Zimbabwe as a rare escape from cultivation.
Zimbabwe distribution: W,C
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Sunday 22 May 2016

Exell, A.W. (1961). Malvaceae Flora Zambesiaca 1(2) Page 501.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 61.


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Other sources of information about Malva sylvestris:

Our websites:

Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Malva sylvestris

External websites:

African Plant Database: Malva sylvestris
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Malva sylvestris
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Malva sylvestris
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Malva sylvestris
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Malva sylvestris
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Malva sylvestris
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Malva sylvestris
Ispot Southern Africa : Malva sylvestris
JSTOR Plant Science: Malva sylvestris
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Malva sylvestris
Tropicos: Malva sylvestris
West African Plants database: Malva sylvestris

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Malva sylvestris., retrieved 21 October 2016

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