Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Malva parviflora, Cheeseweed Mallow

Malva parviflora, Cheeseweed MallowMalva parviflora, Cheeseweed MallowMalva parviflora, Cheeseweed MallowMalva parviflora, Cheeseweed Mallow

Scientific Name: Malva parviflora
Common Name: Cheeseweed Mallow
Also Called: Egyptian Mallow, Least Mallow, Little Mallow, Mallow, Marshmallow, Small-flowered Mallow, Smallflower Mallow, Small-flowered Marshmallow
Family: Malvaceae, Globe Mallow Family
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Annual, biennial or perennial.;
Size: Up to 2 ½ feet tall.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; erect, multiple branching, stellate hairs on new growth turning glabrous.
Leaves: Green; 5 or more lobes, margins crenate.
Flower Color: Pink or whitish-pink; 2 or more small flowers from axils, petals 5, not more than 6mm long (Malva neglecta petals are 7 to 15 mm long), petals glabrous, fruit with numerous segments resembling a miniature wheel of cheese.
Flowering Season: March to September, often year-round.
Elevation: Up to 5,000 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Common field weed, crop fields, gardens, urban areas, roadsides and other disturbed areas.

Recorded Range: Cheeseweed Mallow is a widespread weed found throughout much of the United States with fewer populations east of the Mississippi River; populations throughout all of Canada. Native to North Africa, Europe and Asia. Also introduced in Baja California and northern Mexico.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Malva parviflora.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: 10 species in Malva throughout North America. All species are non-native. 3 species in Arizona, 7 species in California 5 species in New Mexico.

The Plant List includes 365 scientific plant names of species rank for the genus Malva. Of these 29 are accepted species names.

Comments: Both Cheeseweed and Common Mallow are widespread and naturalized throughout the southwest and elsewhere.

In Southwest Desert Flora also see Common Mallow, Malva neglecta.

Malva parviflora is used as a dermatological and external antirheumatic aid by indigenous peoples. See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 11/20/2015, updated format 09/28/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California (UC IPM) Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program; [accessed 20 November 2015]
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 11/19/2015).
Wikipedia contributors, 'Malva parviflora', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2 February 2015, 09:14 UTC, [accessed 20 November 2015]
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 11/20/2015),5084,5087
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information