Common Mallow, Common Dwarf Mallow, Round-Leaved Mallow, Running Mallow, Round Dock, Umbrella Mallow, Buttonweed, Cheeseplant, Wheel of Cheese
Synonyms of Malva neglecta: Malva fruticans Dorner ex Rchb., Malva orbiculata Pomel, Malva salvitellensis V.Brig.
Malva neglecta Wallr. is the correct and accepted scientific name for the Common Mallow. It was named and described as such by Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Wallroth in Sylloge Plantarum Novarum in 1824.
The genus, Malva L., was described by Carl von Linnaeus in the second volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753. Plants of the World Online list the genus as Malva Tourn. ex L. which suggests the genus was first named and described by Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, Mr. Linnaeus giving credit to him as indicated by the “ex”.
Plants of the World Online lists 53 species in the Malva genus as of (5-21-20 when I am updating this page). It is a member of the Malvaceae Family with a total of 249 genera. Those numbers could change periodically as updates are made.
The above distribution may for Malva neglecta is from Plants of the World Online. Areas in green are where the species is native and purple where it has been introduced. The map for North America from the USDA Plants Database is similar.
There are several links at the bottom of the page for further reading and to help with a better positive ID.
I have quite a colony of Malva neglecta that always grows along the northeast side of the house. Here they are annual but some sites suggest they are biennial or perennial (perhaps in other locations or where they are native). Plants branch out at the base and sprawl out along the ground (produmbent to ascending) and the stems have short, fine hairs (pubescent, stellate pubescent). Supposedly they do not root at their leaf nodes.
The leaves grow from fairly long petioles (leaf stems) which grow in an alternate arrangement along the stems. To use technical botanical language, the leaves are alternate, petiolate, cilate-margined, reniform, dentate, and stellate pubescent… Ummm… I think they means they are kind of palmate or kidney-shaped. The leaves grow to around 2 1/2″ long x 3″ across with 5 or more shallow lobes and have round-toothed or scalloped margins (crenate).
Plants usually produce 1-4 five-petaled, slightly notched flowers from stems (peduncles) that emerge from the leaf axils. Flowers are about 3/4″ across which can be pinkish, light violet, or white with darker pink lines. The center of the flower has a central reproductive column with a single pistol and numerous stamens appressed together.
For more information about this species, please refer to the links below.
I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the farm and other areas. I have grown over 500 different plants and most have pages listed on the right side of the blog. I am not an expert, botanist, or horticulturalist. I just like growing, photographing and writing about my experience. I rely on several websites for ID and a horticulturalist I contact if I cannot figure them out. Wildflowers can be somewhat variable from location to location, so sometimes it gets a bit confusing. If you see I have made an error, please let me know so I can correct what I have written.
I hope you found this page useful and be sure to check the links below for more information. They were written by experts and provide much more information. Some sites may not be up-to-date but they are always a work in progress. If you can, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Like” below and leave a comment. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. You can also send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would enjoy hearing from you especially if you notice something is a bit whacky.
NOTE: Plants of the World Online is the most up-to-date database. It is very hard for some to keep with name changes these days so you may find a few discrepancies between the websites. Just be patient. Hopefully, someday they will be in harmony. 🙂