Malva moschata (commonly known as musk mallow) is a pink wildflower cultivated for its striking scented flowers that flourish through the summer months. Musk mallow variations include the ‘Rosea’, which has flowers with a deep pink shade, and the ‘Alba’, which has white flowers.
Musk mallow is a native species to large parts of Eurasia. The flower appears as far west as Spain and as far east as Turkey and parts of Southern Russia. Malva moschata has been successfully cultivated in other temperate regions such as North America and New Zealand. This broad range of climates demonstrates that this plant can be grown perennially and is most suited to temperate climates from sea level up to 1,500 m. Rich soil dense in nutrients is preferred by the plant, and it tends to grow in open grasslands with good exposure to sunlight.
The plant flowers through July and August producing five-petalled, open funnel-shaped flowers. These flowers, when fully grown, will reach 3.2 – 5 cm in diameter. At maturity, the plant will reach, at maximum, 80 cm high. If you inspect the plant closely, you will also see that the stems have small hairs growing away from the soil. Leaves are 2 – 8 cm long and 2 – 8 cm in width, with five to seven lobes in a palmately lobed pattern. The leaves of the lower stem retain shallow lobes whilst the leaves higher up the stem are divided with narrow, acuminate lobes.
The musk mallow mixes with other annuals such as poppy or chamomile but also grows well with other flowers typically found in perennial meadows, such as ox eye daisies, field scabious, and knapweed. Malva moschata also features on the RHS Perfect for Pollinators list, as bees and other insects will frequently visit the flowers for nectar and pollen. The wildlife that this plant attracts makes it an important element of our Meadowmat products.
Musk mallow flourishing in Meadowmat for Birds and Bees
The plant is traditionally grown as an ornamental feature of country gardens. The flowers produce a delicate but dusky perfume in warmer weather, which makes them a popular choice for gardeners.
Musk mallow has a range of medicinal and culinary purposes. Both the seeds and flowers are edible and the family of mallow plants has been used as an addition to salads and other light meals for centuries. In ancient societies, the musk mallow was thought to reduce inflammation and irritation of the digestive system.