Common Mallow

©Northeast Wildlife

Common mallow

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Scientific name: Malva sylvestris
Common mallow is a handsome 'weed' of waste ground, roadside verges and gardens. Its deep pink, stripey flowers provide nectar for insects throughout the summer.

Top facts


Height: up to 1.5m

Conservation status


When to see

June to October


Common mallow is a handsome, large, spreading plant with beautiful deep pink flowers that appear from June to October. It can be found on roadside verges, along footpaths and on waste ground. Certain parts of Common mallow are edible (leaves, flowers and seeds) and there is evidence that the Romans may have deliberately cultivated the plant to be used for food and medicine.

What to look for

Common mallow has pale mauve, funnel-like flowers with five open petals and deep purple stripes. Its leaves have five lobes and its stalks have hairs on them.

Where to find

Found throughout the UK, but especially common in Wales and Southern England.

Did you know?

The French word for mallow is 'mauve', which is where we get the word for the colour mauve from.