Bull Mallow (Malva nicaeensis)

Perennial
M. borealis.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Bull Mallow
Malva nicaeensis
Malvaceae

Cream, yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the plant and the seed heads[168].

A decoction of the roots has been used as a hair rinse[257].

  • Medicinal Use

    A decoction of the plant has been used in the treatment of migraine headaches[257]. A poultice of the heated leaves has been applied to the head or stomach to relieve pain[257].

    A decoction of the roots has been used to treat fevers, especially in children[257].

  • Edible Use

    Leaves – raw or cooked[177]. A very mild flavour with a mucilaginous texture, they make a very acceptable part of a mixed salad, or a good filling for a salad sandwich, though they are somewhat boring on their own[K]. The cooked leaf has a rather slimy texture[K].

    Seed – raw. Best used before it is fully mature, the seed has a pleasant nutty taste but it is rather small and fiddly to harvest[K].

  • Cautionary Notes

    Although we have seen no reports of toxicity for this species, when grown on nitrogen rich soils (and particularly when these are cultivated inorganically), the leaves of some species tend to concentrate high levels of nitrates in their leaves[76]. The leaves are perfectly wholesome at all other times.

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow early spring in situ. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.
A very easily grown plant, succeeding in ordinary garden soil[1], though it prefers a reasonably well-drained and moderately fertile soil in a sunny position[200]. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233]. Plants are prone to infestation by rust fungus[200]. This species is closely related to M. sylvestris[50]. Plants growing in an open sunny position in the Order Beds at Cambridge Botanical gardens are very similar to M. sylvestris and, like that species, are clearly perennial even though we have read reports that they are annual[K].
Europe to W. Asia. An introduced and not infrequent casual in Britain, occasionally established.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.