Chinese Mallow (Malva verticillata)
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About 25–30 species, including:
Malva alcea - Greater Musk-mallow
Malva dendromorpha - Tree Mallow
Malva moschata - Musk-mallow
Malva neglecta - Dwarf Mallow
Malva nicaeensis - French Mallow
Malva parviflora - Least Mallow
Malva pusilla - Small Mallow
Malva sylvestris - Common Mallow
Malva verticillata - Chinese Mallow
Malva is a genus of about 25–30 species of herbaceous annual, biennial, and perennial plants in the family Malvaceae (of which it is the type genus), one of several closely related genera in the family to bear the common English name mallow. The genus is widespread throughout the temperate, subtropical and tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Europe.
The leaves are alternate, palmately lobed; the flowers are from 0.5–5 cm diameter, with five pink or white petals.
Malva species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Grizzled Skipper.
Several species are widely grown as garden flowers, while some are invasive weeds, particularly in the Americas where they are not native.
Many species are edible as leaf vegetables. Malva verticillata (Chinese: 冬寒菜; pinyin: dōngháncài, Korean=동규자) is grown on a limited commercial scale in China; when made as a herbal infusion, it is used for its colon cleansing properties and as a weight loss supplement.