Re: [gardeners] Althea officinalis uses

margaret lauterbach (
Tue, 09 Mar 1999 09:36:54 -0700

At 05:07 AM 3/9/99 -0700, you wrote:
>Thanks for the info and sites Cynthia.  I finally found a picture of the
>Althaea officinalis and it is not the plant I am finding in the garden.  I
>have found quite a few uses for it too, and it is available in the natural
>food stores here in town.  Maybe the plant I am looking for is the  other
>Malvas you mentioned.  Thanks for the site.  I'm off to check them out. 
>Hmmm, that is not it.  The plant I am looking at in the garden is
>definately a weed and the plants I just looked at are things you would
>actually want to plant.  This weed is low to the ground and spreads out in
>a rosette shape.  The leaves are round and scalloped on the edges.  It
>produces small whitish/purplish flowers and forms a button shaped like a
>hollyhock seed button later.  It has a carrot like tap root that is heading
>for China and if you leave any piece of it a new plant (weed) will form. 
>Any ideas???
My grandmother called it "button weed" for the shape of the seed cases.
It's common mallow or Malva neglecta.  When it first germinates, it has
back-to-back heart-shaped primary leaves.  Notice when it spreads that
nothing grows under it.  You may have one with 12 to 15 inch stems, all
going back to a single root.  It's one of the banes of my existence.