Malva neglecta


The genus name Malva means “soft” in latin due to its¬†externally and internally soothing properties.

Specific name neglecta stand for “neglected”.

Also Known as

  • Common Mallow
  • Buttonweed
  • Cheeseplant
  • Cheeseweed
  • Dwarf Mallow
  • Roundleaf Mallow



Identification Keys

  • perennial herbaceous
  • arises from a long, slender taproot
  • can creep along the ground or grow upright
  • crinkled, rounded to heart-shaped, toothed, slightly hairy, long-stalked basal leaves
  • alternate leaves are similar to the basal leaves
  • leaves have five to seven shallow lobes
  • the leaf is notched where it connects to the leaf stalk
  • white to pale-pink or lavender flowers
  • five-petaled, long-stalked flowers arise from the leaf axils
  • the flower has a bushy column of many stamens and one pistil in the center
  • pink lines run the length of the petals
  • the petals are notched at the tips
  • fruits are round and flat like a wheel of cheese


  • lawns
  • fields
  • disturbed habitats
  • edge habitats
  • parks
  • sunny and partly shaded habitats such as gardens and parks
  • roadsides


  • Althea officinalis is larger and hard to confuse with this small plant
  • Glechoma hederacea leaves resemble Malva neglecta’s but their upper surfaces are hairy and smell minty and the stems are square

Poisonous Look-alikes

  • ¬†none


Food Uses

Parts Used

flowers, fruits/berries, leaves

Main Uses

Potherb, Salad


  • vitamin C, iron, calcium, copper


  • leaves, flowers, and fruits, which cook in about 10 minutes, impart a pleasant, mild flavor to stews, grain dishes, and casseroles
  • thicken soups slightly.
  • fine raw, in salads.
  • devour the fruits right off the plants




Harvesting Season

  • early spring to late fall
  • all year where winters are very mild.

Harvesting Methods

  • Hold down the stems with one hand and strip of leaves, flowers, and fruit with the other.


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