Malva alcea is also known as the Greater Musk Mallow, Cut-leaved Mallow, Hollyhock Mallow, or Vervain Mallow. It is part of the Malvaceae family of plants. It is native to Southeast Europe to the Caucasus. Malva alcea is a herbaceous perennial.
Malva alcea can grow to 120cm or 4ft. The stems are hairy. The foliage is a lighter green. The leaves are palmately lobed with five to seven lobes, the basal leaves vary as they are more shallow in their lobes. The top leaves are deeply divided.
Malva alcea flowers are pink. They are single and grow from the leaf axils. They usually have five petals. Malva alcea flowers in the summer and early fall. The fruit is disc-shaped. It contains several seeds.
Grow Malva alcea in the sun. Plant it in fertile, well-drained soil. It adapts to most types of soils. Propagate Malva alcea by seed, basal cuttings, or softwood cuttings. Prune all the flowering stems in autumn after the flowers are done. Watch out for aphids and rust.
Malva alcea leaves are mucilaginous. It is considered edible though some species do contain a lot of nitrogen depending on the soil or the fertilizers. The flower and the seed are also edible. The seeds usually are consumed before they mature. They seem to have a nutty taste.