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Common Mallow (Malva neglecta)

Crop Impacts: Pasture

Common Mallow 1

About Common Mallow:

The Common Mallow reproduces by their seeds only and can be an annual, biennial or short-lived perennial. It originated from Northern Africa, Asia and Europe and can now be found throughout Australia and North America. The entire plant is edible. People use the leaves and flowers in salads. When the leaves are cooked, it produces mucus that can be used as a thickener in stew and soups.

Family: Mallow Family (Malvaceae)

Common Mallow 2 Common Mallow 3

Common Mallow Scouting and Prevention:

There are a lot of branches that grow off of the Common Mallow, the plant as a whole can be 10 to 60cm long. For the most part the stems are erect or creep along the ground with upturned hairy ears. The leaves alternate one another with 1 per node, they are long-stalked, kidney-shaped or rounded blades, with deep heart-shaped bases. The leaves are shallowly toothed, and lobed with triangle stipules that are green to purple or brownish, and amount 2.5 to 6 mm long. Common Mallow produces flowers from its axles of the leaves. These flowers have 5 sepals in a ring, have a column of stamens in the center covering the pistils, and 5 petals that are white to pinkish, or lilac. Common Mallow also produces fruit that are in 12 to 14 sections, in theses sections are 1 seed that have a flat side, rounded on the other, covered in fine hairs, and is dark brown. The flowers bloom from June until late autumn.

Common locations

  • - Barn yards
  • - Turf
  • - Gardens
  • - Cultivated fields


Prevention of Common Mallow is less expensive and less time-consuming than trying to control it. Make sure when you are seeding a new area you are doing so with certified weed-free seeds. If there is an infested area on your property, be sure to drive around, instead of through it. Finally, make sure to give all equipment that has been in infested fields a good clean, to make sure no seeds are transferred.

Common Mallow Control:

Cultural Control

Due to the fact that the taproot gets woody as it develops, it makes cutting or pulling it out very difficult. It is also very important that if you are going to remove the common mallow that you do so before the seed develops, to reduce the impact of the weed in later years. The best control of Common Mallow in gardens is accomplished by pulling out the young plants by hand. Due to the quick growth of the Common Mallow taproot, pulling it out when it has less than 4 leaves is quite effective. You can also cut them off at the crown of young plants, if you do this method with a mature plant it may re-sprout. If you have a larger infested area, shallow cultivation can be used on young Common Mallow. After hand picking or herbicide control, lay down landscape fabric or polypropylene plastic, which blocks the sun from reaching the soil. The fabric does not provide 100% control against the weeds. If you put holes in the plastic or fabric for desirable plants to grow through, Common Mallow may sneak in as well. Mulching is a good way to prevent regrowth. Mulch must be at least 3 inches deep, with synthetic materials underneath, to once again block out the sun and provide a barrier to restrict seed growth. For cultural control in fields, plant desirable competitive plants that grow fast to shade the soil, reducing the germination, and the growth of Common Mallow.

Chemical Control

If you are looking for chemical control on your agricultural fields, products that have pendimethalin or oryzalin provide partial control if it is applied before Common Mallow germinates. However, it is difficult to predict the germination period of Common Mallow, making it hard to know when to plan herbicide application. If you are looking for herbicide control on landscape areas, use products that have 2,4-D. It is important that you use limited amounts of these herbicides on turf because it will kill any broadleaf plants it comes in contact with.

Latin / Alternative Common Mallow names:

  • - Malva neglecta Wallr.
  • - Mauve négligée
  • - Cheeses
  • - Garden Mallow
  • - Round-leaved Mallow
  • - Amours

Additional Common Mallow Resources