What Does Common Mallow Look Like?

Just about everyone – be they an amateur gardener or suburban homeowner – are looking for ways to improve their back yard and garden. Because of this, it is important to know which plants to be on the lookout for, as some might be damaging weeds. Some weeds you can easily identify, while others are a tad more difficult.

Today we’ll be talking about Common Mallow, one of the more common weeds found throughout the country. This weed can quickly invade and spread through your yard, but it can be tricky to identify. This post takes a close look at Common Mallow, including how to identify it if you think you’ve spotted it, places where it grows naturally, how to get rid of Common Mallow, and even more besides.

So, what does Common Mallow look like? Keep reading and you’ll find out.

What is Common Mallow?

Mallow, also known as Common Mallow or Malva Sylvestris, is an invasive herbaceous perennial plant that can grow up to 3 or 4 feet tall. It was originally native to Europe, Asia, and north Africa, but it has been introduced to many different countries all over the world, including North America and Australia.

The common mallow as a plant started in Europe and Asia, and was introduced to North America in the 1800s for its edible leaves and stems. However, because it is tolerant of adverse conditions, such as poor soil drainage, drought, high winds, and can grow rapidly in spite of these conditions, it may be found everywhere from the east to west coasts in both Canada and the USA.

Where Does Common Mallow Grow?

Common mallow thrives in neglected regions and waste spaces, such as beside roads, railway tracks, and highways.

Common Mallow may thrive in any soil, but it prefers moist places such as poorly drained soils and damp nooks near home foundations. If left uncontrolled, Mallow might spread out to an area over three feet in diameter, forming dense mat clusters.

Mallow’s seeds can travel by air or water, so if you see this plant, remove it right away to avoid infestation. It has a lengthy taproot that makes it difficult to pull out by hand or use chemicals on without injuring surrounding plants.

How to Identify Common Mallow

You may be wondering what Common Mallow is and what it looks like, exactly. After all, the first stage in removing any weeds from your garden is to recognize them.

Visual Characteristics 

The flowers of the Common Mallow are its most distinctive feature. They are bright pink or purple, with darker pink or purple stripes. The flowers can be up to a few inches in diameter and have five petals on average.

Surrounding its bright flowers, Common Mallow has dark, luscious green leaves that are very soft. These leaves up to five tipped points, instead of just being round or elliptical in shape. The leaves are 1 – 1.5 inches in length and 2 – 4 inches in diameter. The leaves each have hairs radiating from a common center and prominent veins on the undersides.

The stems of Common Mallow are also green on top, where they emerge from the earth, but lower down they become white and may have hairs. The stems can be straight or bent.

Growth Stages

When Common Mallow first blossoms in the spring and summer, it appears very lovely, but as the hot weather continues into the fall and winter, the vivid verdigris on their leaves fades away, and their stems become ragged.

Other Unique Traits

Common Mallow, although not as popular a food as its cousin the Marsh-Mallow, is still edible. It is also used to make yellow dyes, and can be made into an herbal medicine.

Some people keep Common Mallow as an ornamental plant because of its pretty flowers.

Plants That Look Like Common Mallow

Common Mallow is one of the many species known as Creeping Charlie, although Glechoma Hederacea, or Ground Ivy, is a more frequent variety. Both have purple flowers and dark green leaves. However, Creeping Charlie has smaller and less vibrant flowers, and they don’t have the darker veins running through them, and its leaves are more circular rather than star shaped.

How to Get Rid of Common Mallow

If you have Common Mallow growing in your grass, you’ll need to increase the number of times you mow. This will cut the weed’s leaves off and deprive the plant of the nutrients and water it requires to survive.

Over time, the leaves will wither and the plant will perish. If you perform this as soon as you see it, it should take one to two months to wipe out that section of Mallow.

However, the best way to get rid of Common Mallow is to use a weed killer that contains 2,4-D. This will kill the plant, as well as its roots and foliage.

In Conclusion

Common Mallow is a weed that may be seen growing in fields, along roadsides, and other disturbed areas, and even your own backyard. It can be found in many countries across the world and has distinctive visual characteristics to set it apart from others. There are also several weeds that look like Common Mallow, so you should learn how to tell them apart.

Once you’ve seen what Common Mallow looks like, it’ll be a lot easier to find and identify it in the field or at home. This will assist you if necessary in getting rid of this weed.

If you’re not sure whether or not you’ve found Common Mallow, it’s always a good idea to get advice from a professional, and you may also contact us if you like! Thank you for taking the time to read this post, and we wish you the best of luck in your garden!