Annual, biennial or short lived perennial.
Reproducing only by seed.
Stems much-branched, erect or trailing on the ground with upturned ends, hairy, 10-60cm long.
Leaves alternate (1 per node), long-stalked; blades rounded or kidney-shaped with a deep heart-shaped base, shallowly lobed and toothed; stipules green to purplish or brownish, triangular, 2.5-6mm long.
Flowers in axils of leaves; sepals 5, in a ring; petals 5, white to pinkish or lilac, 1-1.5cm across and with a column of stamens in the centre covering the pistil; fruit a circle of about 12 to 14 dry sections ("seeds"), each section having flat sides but being rounded on its back, very finely hairy, and containing 1 dark brown seed. Flowers from June to late autumn.
Common mallow occurs throughout most of Ontario and is a very frequent weed in lawns, gardens, barnyards, roadsides, waste places and occasionally in cultivated fields.
It is distinguished by its low stature, its rounded to kidney-shaped leaves, its flowers 1-1.5cm across witha central column of stamens and the individual sections in the ring of fruits rounded and not prominently veined.
A. Seedling B. Base of mature plant C. End of flowering stem D. Fruit (ring of seeds) E. Fruit (ring of seeds)
2 leaf seedling
Alternate stem orientation of common mallow
Five pinkish white petals of common mallow.