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Malva

Mallow
Malvaceae
Perennials

From Europe; naturalized in the U.S. These plants are related to and somewhat resemble hollyhock (Alcea), but they are bushier, with smaller, roundish to heart-shaped leaves. Bloom from summer to fall. Easy to grow; need good drainage and average soil. Grow from seed; usually bloom the first year. Use in perennial borders or for a quick tall edging. Not long-lived. 

Malva alcea

Grows to 4 ft. tall and 2 ft. wide; upper leaves are deeply divided. Saucer-shaped pink flowers to 2 in. wide. The most common form is ‘Fastigiata’; it is narrower than the species and looks much like hollyhock.

Malva moschata (photo courtesy of Howard Rice/GAP Photos/Getty Images)
Malva moschata (photo courtesy of Howard Rice/GAP Photos/Getty Images)

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Malva moschata

Erect, branching plant to 3 ft. high and 2 ft. wide. Finely cut leaves; pink or white flowers to 1 in. wide or somewhat wider. Entire plant emits a mild, musky odor if brushed against or bruised. Named selections are more frequently grown than the species. M. m. ‘Rosea’ has pink blossoms; M. m. ‘Alba’ is 2 ft. high and bears white flowers.

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