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Musk Mallow

Malva moschata

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Malvaceae (Mallow)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
90 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, hedgerows, meadows, roadsides, scrub, wasteland.

Variable in colour, 5 petals
Usually rose-pink but sometimes white, in loose spikes, up to 6cm. 5 notched petals.
A disc-shaped nutlet (schizocarp), up to 6mm in diameter.
Hairy and deeply lobed leaves.
Musky-scented flowers.
Other Names:
Rose Mallow.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Malva moschata, also known as musk mallow, is a herbaceous perennial plant in the Malvaceae family. It is native to Europe and Asia, but has been introduced to other parts of the world as a garden plant. The leaves and flowers of the plant have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, and the plant is also grown for ornamental purposes. The flowers are pink-purple or white in color and bloom in the summer. The plant is hardy in zones 4-8 and typically grows to be 2-3 ft tall.


Musk mallow, scientifically known as Malva moschata, is a perennial plant that belongs to the Malvaceae family. It is native to Europe and Western Asia, but has now spread to other parts of the world, including North America. The plant is widely known for its ornamental value, as well as its medicinal properties.


The musk mallow is a small herbaceous plant that can grow up to a height of 2 to 3 feet. It has a fibrous root system and green, lobed leaves that are soft to the touch. The plant produces delicate flowers that are pale pink or white in color and have a sweet, musky scent. The flowers bloom in the summer and fall seasons and attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.


Musk mallow has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. The plant contains compounds such as mucilage, flavonoids, and tannins that have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. The roots, leaves, and flowers of the plant have been used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments such as coughs, colds, and sore throats.

In addition to its medicinal uses, musk mallow is also popular in the horticultural industry. The plant is often used as an ornamental in gardens, where it is valued for its delicate flowers and pleasant scent. Musk mallow is easy to grow and maintain, making it a popular choice for both amateur and professional gardeners.


Musk mallow can be grown from seed, which should be sown in early spring or late fall. The plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. It is also tolerant of drought conditions, making it a good choice for areas with limited rainfall.

Musk mallow is a versatile plant with both medicinal and ornamental value. It is easy to grow and maintain, making it a popular choice for gardeners. Whether used for its medicinal properties or simply as a beautiful addition to a garden, musk mallow is a plant that is sure to delight.

More Information about Musk Mallow

Musk mallow is not only a beautiful and useful plant, but it also has cultural significance. In the Middle Ages, musk mallow was considered to have magical properties and was used in love spells and divination rituals. The plant was also believed to have protective powers and was used to ward off evil spirits.

In addition to its traditional medicinal uses, musk mallow has also been studied for its potential as an anti-cancer agent. Research has shown that the plant contains compounds that have the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Musk mallow is also known to have a soothing effect on the skin and is often used in skincare products. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce redness and irritation, making it a popular ingredient in natural skincare formulations.

In terms of culinary uses, musk mallow is not commonly consumed, but its leaves can be used to make a tea with a mild, slightly sweet flavor. The tea is said to have a soothing effect on the digestive system and can be helpful for treating digestive issues such as bloating and indigestion.

Musk mallow is also a valuable source of food for bees and other pollinators. The plant produces nectar and pollen that attract a wide variety of beneficial insects. By planting musk mallow in your garden, you can help support local pollinator populations and promote a healthy ecosystem.

In addition to its ornamental value, musk mallow is also used in traditional crafts. The fibers of the plant's stem can be used to make twine and cordage, which have been used for centuries for a variety of purposes such as fishing nets, clothing, and baskets.

Musk mallow has also been used as a natural dye. The plant produces a yellow dye that was used in traditional textile production to color wool and other fibers.

Finally, musk mallow has been used in folklore and mythology around the world. In Norse mythology, the goddess Freya was said to wear a necklace made of musk mallow flowers. In Greek mythology, the plant was associated with the goddess Aphrodite and was said to have the power to enhance beauty and fertility.

Overall, musk mallow is a fascinating and versatile plant with a wide range of uses and cultural significance. Whether you are a gardener, herbalist, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, musk mallow is a plant that is well worth exploring further.


Video 1: Musk Mallow filmed in a field in Lancashire on the 7th July 2022.


Music credits
For the Fallen by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

Video 2: Musk Mallow filmed at Capernwray, Lancashire on the 17th June 2023.


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