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Herbaceous Perennial

Althaea officinalis

marsh mallow

A. officinalis is a native, herbaceous perennial with softly hairy, grey-green leaves and stems. Small clusters of saucer-shaped, lilac-pink flowers appear on tall flowering stems from mid-summer to early autumn

Other common names
bismalva
guimauve
see moreJoseph's staff
mauve
mortification root
white mallow
wymot
wymote
Synonyms
Althaea taurinensis DC., non C.A. Mey.
Althaea kragujevacensis

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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Poorly–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Pink Green
Autumn Pink Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or East–facing or North–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Malvaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Althaea are annuals or perennials with strong, wiry stems and broadly oval, lobed leaves. Sprays of small, pink to bluish-purple, five-petalled flowers are produced from summer to autumn

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe

How to grow

Cultivation

Easy to grow and tolerates a wide range of conditions, though does best in fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in mid-summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
Pruning

Cut down to ground once flowering is over

Pests

May be affected by flea beetles

Diseases

May be affected by a rust

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