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2. MALVA Linn. Mallow

Cal. with a 3-leaved involucre. Carpels numerous, circularly arranged, 1-seeded. — Name altered from μαλαχη, soft, in allusion to the emollient nature of the species.

1. M. sylvestris L. (common. M); stem erect herbaceous, leaves with 5-7 rather acute deep lobes, peduncles and petioles hairy, fruit glabrous reticulately wrinked. E. B. t. 671.

Waste places and way-sides; not common in Scotland. Perennial. 6–9. — Stem 2–3 ft or more high, branched. Flowers 3 or 4 together, axillary. Petals obcordate, usually large and of a purplish rose-colour with deeper veins, combined by the base of their claws. Dr. Bromfiled finds in the Isle of Weight a variety with flowers of a sky-blue colour, another with prostrate stems, and a third with small flowers. Whole plant, especially the fruit, mucilaginous and emollient.

2. M. rotundifolia L. (dwarf M.); stem decumbent, leaves roundish cordate slightly and bluntly 5-lobed, fruit-stalkes bent down, petals 2-3 times longer than calyx, fruit pubescent, carpels smooth rounded on the edge. E. B. t. 1092.

Waste places and way-sides, not unfrequent in England; rare in Scotland, as about Edinburgh. Perennial. 6–9. — Stems 10–12 inches long, branched only from the root. Flowers small, roundish. Bracteas linear-lanceolate. Carpels meeting at the line of junction with a straight line. Fries and some other foreign botanists consider the next to be the true M. rotundifolia L., and call this M. vulgaris, or M. neglecta. [1]

3. M. * pusilla Sm. (small-flowered M.); stem decumbent, leaves roundish-cordate slightly and bluntly 5-lobed, fruit-stalks bent down, petals the length of the calyx, fruit pubescent, carpels slightly reticulated margined. E. B. t. 241. M. borealis Liljebl.

Hythe, Kent: Hudson. Annual? [2] 7. — Of this as a British plant we know nothing; only one specimen seems ever to have been found, and that was probably introduced with corn: seeds taken from it yielded the specimen from which the figure in the E. B. was made in 1795. Supposing it to be a distinct species from the last, the name originally given by Smith appears to be the oldest; but the pubescence of the fruit and reticulation of the carpels appears to vary so much in several allied species, that we fear these characters are only of secondary importance.

4. M. moschata L. (Musk M.); stem erect, radical leaves reniform in 5 or 7 broad cut lobes, cauline ones 5-partite pinnato-multifid their segments linear, calyx hairy, leaflets of the involucre linear. E. B. t. 754.

Meadows, pastures, and road-sides, especially in a gravelly soil; not unfrequent. Perennial. 7-8. — Stem 2–3 ft. high. Flowers large, beautiful, rose-coloured, 1–2 from the axils of the terminal leaves. The foliage yields a faint musky smell if drawn through the hand.

(M. verticillata L., an erect plant, having leaves with 5 deep acute lobes, nearly sessile flowers scarcely longer than the calyx, and glabrous carpels rounded on the edge and scarcely reticulated, has been found near Llanelly in Wales; but is neither a native of Britain, nor of Europe, unless as a cultivated plant: the wild state, which is unknown, may exhibit quite a different aspect and character.) [3]

[1] The Dwarf Mallow is now known as M. neglecta Wallr.; the Small-Flowered Mallow remains M. pusilla Smith, the name M. rotundifolia having been abandoned.
[2] M. pusilla is an annual.
[3] In addition to M. pusilla and M. verticillata, M. alcea, M. nicaensis and M. parviflora occur in the British Isles as casuals.

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