Common Mallow, Cheeses

In Germany the Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris) is called Wild Mallow. However, it isn’t really wild any more but popular as a garden plant.

Growing wild, it can be found along roadsides, on embankments, in meadows or parks as well as on railway embankments. It can grow over one metre high, flowers from June to October, is perennial, but does not reach a high age.

Common Mallow

If Malva sylvestris is allowed to grow undisturbed, it can reach a height of over one metre. It also copes well with locations that are frequently mowed, remains much smaller there, but still flowers profusely.

Honey bees, bumble bees and other wild bees like to fly to its flowers. It also provides food for other insects, such as the fire bug, which prefers to feed on the sap of mallow plants.

Common Mallow in front of a site fence
Common Mallow in front of a site fence.
Common Mallow streetside
Common Mallow on the side of the road. To the right is Carduus acanthoides (Spiny Plumeless Thistle).
Common Mallow in a parking lot
Common Mallow in a parking lot.

Mallow flower

Cheeses
The Common Mallow is also known as Blue Mallow, High Mallow, Tall Mallow or Cheeses.
Common Mallow with Wild Rocket
Common Mallow with Wild Rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia).

The Common Mallow as a garden plant

Because it is robust and flowers for a long time, in mild years single flowers can appear until the end of November, the Common Mallow is a popular garden plant. Cultivars with double, semi-double or blue flowers are available.

Common Mallow in my garden
My first wild mallow in June 2010, it has bloomed again in 2011 and 2012, then said goodbye but left enough offspring.

Location

Ideal are full to partial sunny locations, which offer Malva sylvestris for at least 3 hours of sunshine daily. It can also cope with partial shade.

Soil

This Mallow does not place high demands on the soil, which can be humusy to sandy-clayey or permeable. In dry soil it remains smaller, so it is good to water it regularly.