Malva verticillata

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Malva verticillata
 Chinese Mallow
Malva verticillata2 WPC.jpg
Habit: herbaceous
Height: 1.8m (? ft)RH
Lifespan: Annual, BiennialRH
Origin: Europe, AsiaRH
Poisonous: see text
Exposure: full sun, part-sun
Water: regular
Features: edible
USDA Zones: 6+RH
Sunset Zones: not available
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Hardy to zone 6 and hardy to frost. Flowers July - September, with seeds ripening August - October. The flowers are hermaphrodite and require insect pollination. The plant is self-fertile.


Eeasily grown in the garden in any soil, although it likes good drainage and moderate fertility in the soil, as well as part or full sun. It is not particular about the soil alkalinity, either. It requires moist soil. Grown as salad crop in parts of Europe. Variety 'Crispa' has more tender leaves, with attractive curled leaf edges. Cultivated for over 2,500 years in China.

The plant can produce concentrated levels of nitrates if your soil is high in nitrogen, especially from inorganic nitrogen fertilizers. If levels of nitrogen are not elevated, leaves are safe to eat.


Grow from seed planted in early spring in situ. Usually germinates by 2 weeks.

Pests and diseases

Prone to rust fungus, but immune to rabbits.


'Crispa' - grown for salads in Mediterranean region. Once considered a separate species, but now considered to be a form of M. verticillata derived by selection as a salad plant. Rust fungus prone.


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