Mallow-of-Nice

Malva nicaeensis All.

Family: Malvaceae.

Names:

Malva is from the Greek malache meaning soft and refers to the relaxing nature of these plants.
Nicaeensis refers to Nice in France.
Mallow-of-Nice because it is the mallow that comes from the town of Nice in France.

Summary:

An annual or perennial plant with round leaves that are lobed and notched where the long leaf stalk joins. Stems bend upwards and have small purple flowers in clusters in the leaf axils.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two.

Leaves:

Petiole - Long and hairy.
Blade - Round with a notch where the leaf stalk joins, 30-60 mm wide, 5-7 rounded lobes with scalloped edges and radiating veins.

Stems:

Erect or bending upwards, 200-500 mm long. Stiff simple hairs.

Flower head:

Clusters of flowers in leaf axils.

Flowers:

Light purple.
Bracts - 3, small, pointed, egg shaped bracteoles attached about halfway up the calyx.
Ovary -
Calyx - 5 mm long, 5 delta shaped lobes. Hairy. Almost cover the ripe fruit.
Petals - 5, light purple, notched, 10 mm long.
Stamens -
Anthers -

Fruit:

8-10 fruitlets. Hairless or furry. Wrinkled on the back, with slight radiating grooves on the side but the edges are not toothed.

Seeds:

Erect, smooth, rounded on the back.

Roots:

Taproot.

Key Characters:

Less than 1000 mm tall. Bracteoles ovate. Purple petals twice as long as the calyx.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Annual or Perennial. Flowers August to November.

Physiology:

Reproduction:

By seed.

Flowering times:

August to November in SA.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

None.

Hybrids:

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Spread by seed.

Origin and History:

Southern Europe. Mediterranean.

Distribution:

NSW, SA, TAS, VIC.
Common in the North West of Tasmania.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Temperate areas.

Climate:

Temperate. Mediterranean.

Soil:

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Detrimental:

Weed of disturbed areas.

Toxicity:

Sheep are more susceptible than cattle or horses to poisoning. Most cases occur in the July to October period with some as late as December.

Symptoms:

Symptoms usually appear and after driving and include staggers, knuckling over of the front legs, sitting with the head turned into the body then lying on one side followed occasionally by death. Symptoms usually appear a day or two after eating Mallows.

Treatment:

Gently remove stock from the infestation. Most stock will recover if left unstressed.
Avoid holding stock in Mallow infested yards.

Legislation:

None.

Management and Control:

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Cultivation usually gives good control.
A number of herbicides provide control, however Mallows are quite tolerant of glyphosate.

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Related plants:

Dwarf Mallow (M. neglecta)
Musk Mallow (M. moschata)
Small-flowered Mallow (M. parviflora) has pink or white flowers.
Tall Mallow (M. sylvestris) is very similar.
Tree Mallow (M. arborea was Lavatera arborea) is much larger.

Plants of similar appearance:

References:

Auld, B.A. and Medd R.W. (1992). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P185.

Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P555. Diagram.

Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #795.3.

McBarron, E.J. (1983). Poisonous plants. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P100. Diagram.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.