Mallow belongs to the large family of Malvaceae plants, which includes Hibiscus, okra, and cotton. The Malvaceae family comprises approximately 243 genera and about 4,225 species of trees, shrubs, and herbs distributed over most of the world.
The genus is common in tropical, subtropical, and temperate Europe, Asia, and Africa. This edible plant is used for nutritional and medicinal purposes. The round fruits have cheese-like segments that give the common mallow the nickname of a cheese plant.
Common mallow is an annual or biennial in winter or summer that branches freely at the base, with prostrate growth.
The flowers are single or in clusters in the leaf axils, which bloom from early summer to late autumn. They have five petals and are lilac, pinkish, or white flowers with an average width of 1 to 1.5 cm.
The leaves of the common mallow come in different sizes namely alternate, on long petioles, kidney-shaped to circular, toothed, and flat with 5 to 9 lobes, 2-6 cm wide.
There are short hairs on the top and bottom of the leaves, margins, and petioles. This plant can be between 10 and 60 cm long.