COMMON MALLOW

CHEESECAKES

Malva sylvestris

Mallow Family [Malvaceae]

month8jun month8jul month8aug month8sep

status
statusZarchaeophyte
flower
flower8lilac flower8pink
flower
flower8purple
inner
inner8white
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round

16th June 2009, Colwyn Bay, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Grows especially near the sea, and it can't get much nearer than this without getting wet feet.


2nd July 2011, Crosby, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Grows up to a metre high.


2nd July 2011, Crosby, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
A cluster of un-branched stems with flowers on shortish stalks up the stem.


23rd June 2007, the vast wastelands of Salford, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers have five lilac coloured petals with mauve coloured veins.


2nd July 2011, Crosby, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Un-furled flowers have petals wrapped around forming a cone. Un-like two Tree Mallows which have only three sepals, Common Mallow has five as do many other Mallows. Stems have longish white hairs.


2nd July 2011, Crosby, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The petals have a smoothly-curved 'nick' and are distintly asymmetric, like several other five-petalled actinomorphic flowers (such as Lesser Periwinkle, Greater Periwinkle, Water Avens and others).


31st May 2007, Walney Island, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Like all Mallows, the flowers have a double row of sepals, wide ones cupping te flower or fruit, and a much narrower set behind. Common Mallow, along with many other, but not all Mallows, have five in each row. The leaves often have a dark splodge at the base just like those of Cloudberry (and similar in shape too).


2nd July 2011, Crosby, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The fruits are discs with a toroidal outer (like a Polo mint) plugged with a central darker core, this gives the plant it's nick-name of 'Cheesecake'. They are cupped by the five broad hairy sepals. Leaves are toothed and palmately lobed; upper ones may have a longer central lobe.


2nd July 2011, Crosby, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The petals by transmitted light. Asymmetric 'propellor' type form plainly discernible.


2nd July 2011, Crosby, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
A central pillar holds aloft a bunch of stamens with indigo coloured anthers, similar to the way Radio Telescopes have the aerial at the focal point of the paraboloid.


2nd July 2011, Crosby, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Lilac coloured stamens with indigo coloured anthers bearing white pollen grains.


26th Aug 2004, Deganwy, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are palmately lobed, crinkled, sometimes Ivy-like and with somewhat bluntish teeth. The lime-green discs are un-ripe fruits, or 'cheesecakes'.


2nd July 2011, Crosby, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The obverse of the leaf with prominent ribs, a little like those of Lady's Mantle.


Some similarities to : some other Mallows.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :


  Malva sylvestris  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Malvaceae  

Distribution
 family8Mallow family8Malvaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Malva
Malva
(Mallows)

COMMON MALLOW

CHEESECAKES

Malva sylvestris

Mallow Family [Malvaceae]

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