Re: [gardeners] Althea officinalis uses

Jane Burdekin (
Wed, 10 Mar 1999 09:17:21 -0600

>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.

Hi Margaret,
You are right about the bane of our existence!  I can't believe how much of
that I have pulled.  I find the garden fork to work the best.  I still
haven't been able to figure out uses for it.  We also used to call it
button weed and we ate quite a bit of it too.  No telling what kids will
eat.  Wonder if it still tastes the same?