E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Malva sylvestris L.
common mallow (high mallow)
Malvaceae (Mallow family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Rosemary Taylor  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #60571)

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Distribution of Malva sylvestris
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Species Information

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Annual or biennial herb from a taproot; stems spreading to erect, branched, 20-50 cm tall, with sparse, spreading, simple hairs.
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves alternate, blades much shorter than the stalks, heart-to egg-shaped, 3-7 cm long, upper leaves shallowly lobed, lobes toothed; stipules 2-4 mm long.
Inflorescence of many flowers in axillary clusters or subterminal panicles; petals 5, deep bluish-purple, 1.5-2.5 cm long; calyces 6-8 mm long, 5-lobed, the lobes half as long as wide, hairy, the hairs star-shaped, the bracteoles oblong or egg-shaped.
Carpels, numerous in flat disks, wrinkled, sparsely hairy; seeds 1.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry roadsides and waste places in the lowland zone; rare on S Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and Vancouver; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Malva mauritiana L.
Malva sylvestris subsp. mauritiana (L.) Thellung
Malva sylvestris var. mauritiana (L.) Boiss.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References