Common mallow

Common Mallow

©Northeast Wildlife


Eden Jackson

Common mallow

Scientific name: Malva sylvestris
Common mallow is a handsome 'weed' of waste ground, roadside verges and gardens. Its deep pink, stripey flowers provide nectar for insects throughout the summer.

Species information


Height: up to 1.5m

Conservation status


When to see

June to October


Common mallow is a handsome, large, spreading plant with beautiful deep pink flowers that appear from June to October. It can be found on roadside verges, along footpaths and on waste ground. Certain parts of common mallow are edible (leaves, flowers and seeds) and there is evidence that the Romans may have deliberately cultivated the plant to be used for food and medicine.

How to identify

Common mallow has pale mauve, funnel-like flowers with five open petals and deep purple stripes. Its leaves have five lobes and its stalks have hairs on them.


Found throughout the UK, but especially common in Wales and Southern England.

Did you know?

The French word for mallow is 'mauve', which is where we get the word for the colour mauve from.

How people can help

Although they might not look especially wildlife-friendly, our roadside verges, railway cuttings and waste grounds can provide valuable habitats for all kinds of plants and animals. The Wildlife Trusts are involved in many projects to make these places as beneficial for wildlife as possible.