Common Mallow (Malva Neglecta): A Versatile Plant for Gardens and Wellness

Description: An Herbaceous Plant for Every Garden

Common Mallow, scientifically known as Malva Neglecta, is a herbaceous plant that is not only easy to grow but also thrives in various garden settings.

It is distinguished by its lush leaves, which are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, making it a valuable addition to any garden.

Medicinal Properties: Soothing Nature’s Gift

The leaves of Common Mallow are particularly noted for their high mucilage content.

This substance is known for its soothing properties, especially beneficial for respiratory and digestive systems.

This makes Common Mallow a go-to natural remedy for various irritations in these systems.

Permaculture Use: A Ground Cover with Multiple Benefits

In permaculture, Common Mallow serves as an excellent ground cover.

Its growth habit aids in moisture conservation, which is crucial for sustainable gardening practices.

Additionally, it provides a habitat for beneficial insects, contributing to a healthy and balanced ecosystem in the garden.

The plant’s ability to cover the ground also helps in weed suppression and soil quality improvement, making it a multifunctional addition to permaculture landscapes.

Unveiling the Mysteries of Common Mallow (Malva Neglecta): More Than Just a Weed

Common Mallow, known scientifically as Malva Neglecta, is a plant rich in history and utility, often unrecognized for its true value.

This remarkable plant, also referred to as Buttonweed, Cheese Plant, Cheeseweed, Dwarf Mallow, and Round Leaf Mallow, embodies a blend of folklore, medicinal benefits, and culinary uses.

Folklore and Love Potions: The Intriguing History of Common Mallow

Common Mallow has long been a subject of various folklore tales.

One notable story, which inspired the title of this piece, involves Pliny the Elder’s belief.

He suggested that sprinkling mallow seeds onto one’s genitalia could incite sexual desire to “an infinite degree”.

In another interesting use, the Iroquois consumed and then regurgitated Mallow as a form of love medicine.

These tales, whether believed or not, underscore the historical significance and cultural interest surrounding Common Mallow.

Nutrient-Rich: The Bounty of Common Mallow

Common Mallow is a treasure trove of nutrients, packed with vitamins A, B, C, E, inulin, mucilage, phenols, flavonoids, essential fatty acids, fiber, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, potassium, and other nutrients.

Culinary Uses: From Leaves to Roots

Every part of the Common Mallow plant is edible – leaves, seeds, stems, roots, flowers, and fruit.

The leaves can be added raw to salads or used as a thickener in soups, stews, gravies, and sauces.

Dried leaves can be made into tea, or the leaves can be fried for a crispy snack.

The flowers add a colorful touch to salads, while the seeds are useful for making unique meringues.

The stems can be eaten fresh in salads, and the roots, rich in inulin, make an excellent ingredient for nutritious soups.

Does Common Mallow Grow Cheese?

A unique feature of Common Mallow is its cheese-shaped fruit, which is why it’s sometimes called the Cheese Plant or Cheeseweed.

The fruit is ring-shaped and breaks into numerous small seeds.

Beyond the Ordinary: Embracing Common Mallow

Common Mallow is known for its ability to seed freely and spread across large areas.

It’s often found in places where nature is left to its own devices.

A quote from Bloom (1903) beautifully captures its essence:

… the mallow is not to be despised; rough though it be and the companion of coarse weeds, its satin-like flowers of deep pink and dark-green reniform leaves set off many a bit of barren waste.


Common Mallow is a plant with a rich tapestry of stories, uses, and benefits.

It’s a reminder to look beyond the ordinary and discover the extraordinary in the world around us.

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Giuseppe Tallarico

Discover how Giuseppe Tallarico, an agronomist dissatisfied with office life, transformed his passion for nature into a regenerative revolution. Leaving behind a career in the corporate sector, Giuseppe followed his heart towards permaculture. His transformation from a professional in quality and environmental fields to an innovator in regenerative agriculture has been an inspiring journey. Through founding the Urban Permaculture Laboratory and teaching, Giuseppe has created a lasting impact in the community and the world of permaculture. Join Giuseppe in his courses, consultancy work, and innovative projects to explore how you too can make a difference. Discover his blog articles, evoking images, sounds, and emotions, immersing you in the world of regenerative agriculture. Unlock Sustainable Solutions with Giuseppe Tallarico - Explore Here!