Growth Habit: Mallows are very competitive weeds that range from low growing ground covers to a small shrub. They have mid to light green leaves with dominant veins, are gently serrated at the edges and are pleated in appearance. M parviflora develops as a rosette-like clump with stem leaves up to 70mm in diameter while M. sylvestris develops as a loose rosette-like clump with leaves up to 100 mm in diameter. The easiest way to distinguish them is by their flower.
Type of Plant: Perennial. M. parviflora may grow to 500mm, whilst M. sylvestris may reach up to 1m.
Flowers: Both species bloom in summer.
M. parviflora The inflorescence is axillary, the flowers being some 5 to 6 mm in diameter with five notched pink petals.
M. sylvestris The flowers are axillary and grow several together. They are 25 to 40 mm in diameter with five petals which are rose-purple in colour with dark veins and have notched tips.
Fruit/Seed: Several wedge-shaped seeds are produced per flower.
Dispersal: Reproduces purely by seed.
Distribution: Mallows can be found on cultivated land, vineyards and orchards, roadsides and gardens. Both species are widespread in Tasmania.
Status: Undeclared in Tasmania.
- Mallows may form very competitive infestations in perennial crops, such as vineyards and orchards.
- Once established, they can be very difficult to eradicate.
For further information contact the Department of Primary Industry, Parks, Water and Environment, Tasmania.
- Grubbing (all year). Remove entire plant by hand or garden implement.
- Herbicide (summer, spring and autumn). Herbicides registered in Tasmania include triclopyr, glyphosate and fluroxypyr.
N.B. Always check the herbicide label before use.