Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Malva sylvestris
common mallow, high mallow

Distribution: Occurring in scattered locations on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east across most of North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Roadsides, forest edge, fields, ditches, wastelots, and other disturbed open areas.

Flowers: May-September

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Growth Duration: Annual, Biennial, Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Annual or biennial herbs 2-5 dm. tall, usually covered with small, appressed, aligned hairs.


Leaves palmately veined, with stipules 2-4 mm. long; leaf blades considerably shorter than the petioles, cordate-ovate, 3-7 cm. long, 5 lobed about 1/3 of their length, the lobes with rounded teeth.


Flowers in small clusters in the leaf axils, deep bluish-purple; calyx lobes 5, nearly half as long a broad, the bracteoles oblong or ovate; petals 1.5-2 cm. long, shallowly notched; filaments fused into a tube, the stamens freed from the tube single or in pairs; style branches stigmatic most of their length, not capitate; ovary superior, the carpels in a ring around a central axis.


Carpels wrinkled, sparsely hairy.

Accepted Name:
Malva sylvestris L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 689. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Malva sylvestris in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Malva sylvestris checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Malva sylvestris information.

E-Flora BC: Malva sylvestris atlas page.

CalPhotos: Malva sylvestris photos.

USDA Plants: Malva sylvestris information.

16 photographs:
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