Monday, April 09, 2007

A Beautiful Weed

If you venture out of town these days you can easily spot this wildflower called the Common Mallow. It is considered a spreading annual or perennial depending on its location. It grows in fields, gardens, and in disturbed areas such as along the side of a road.
Its flowers are white to lavender and have dark violet veins. The flowers grow in clusters of one to three from a thick straight tap root.

There are said to be many uses for this plant. The leaves and young shoots can be eaten raw as in salad or cooked as a vegetable. Having a mild pleasant flavor they are said to be highly nutritious. The dried leaves can also be used for tea. The leaves and flowers also make a good poultice for bruises, insect bites or can be taken internally as a treatment for respiratory problems or inflammations of the digestive or urinary systems. Lastly, cream yellow and green dyes can be made from the leaves and the seed heads.

Interestingly, in the US the Common Mallow is on a Weed Alert in the Western, Northcentral, Northeast and Southern areas..........z
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