Musk Mallow - 5g


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Malva moschata (Musk Mallow) is a species of Malva native to Europe and southwestern Asia, and found from northern Spain to the British Isles and Poland, and east to southern Russia and Turkey. It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing up to 80 cm tall, with hairy stems and foliage. The leaves are alternate, 2–8 cm long and 2–8 cm broad, palmately lobed with five to seven lobes; basal leaves on the lower stem are very shallowly lobed, those higher on the stems are deeply divided, with narrow, acuminate lobes. The flowers are produced in clusters in the leaf axils, each flower 3.2–5 cm diameter, with five bright pink petals with a truncated to notched apex; they have a distinctive musky odour. The fruit is a disc-shaped schizocarp 3–6 mm diameter, containing 10–16 seeds, the seeds individually enclosed in a mericarp covered in whitish hairs. It occurs on dry, but fertile soils at altitudes from sea level up to 1,500 m. The flowers are usually pollinated by bees.

Cultivation and uses:   'Alba', with white flowers, is often grown as an ornamental plant for its attractive scented flowers, produced for a long period through the summer. Leaves and flowers of Musk Mallow are common additions to "wild" salads. The seeds are also edible.

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