Marsh Mallow (Althaea officinalis)

Marsh Mallow (Althaea officinalis) is considered a tea herb, a medicinal herb and a salad herb.  As a salad herb, the young leaves, flowers and the nutty seeds are added to salads.  As a tea herb, the leaves can be used fresh or dried, and the fresh leaves are used as a vegetable thus classifying Marsh Mallow as a culinary herb.  Slice and cook the roots like a potato.  It is considered a medicinal herb due to its use in soothing the stomach and being good for ulcers.  Althaea officinalis also helps with respiratory problems and is stimulating for the kidneys.  It is also used in personal care products to help heal damaged skin. 

Climate and Light:  Marsh Mallow (Althaea officinalis) is grown in zones 5 – 8 and prefers to be in full sun.

 Soil:  Marsh Mallow like light soil with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0.

Water:  Althea officinalis prefers continuously moist soil.

Growing Habit:  Marsh Mallow is a perennial that grows to a height of  about 5 feet.  It has soft gray velvity foliage that dies down for a winter rest.  Althea officinalis flowers from August to September with pink or white flowers.  These are followed by seedpods called “cheeses”.

Propagation:  Propagate Marsh Mallow by cuttings from foliage  in the fall.  Divide rhizomes in the fall or sow seed in spring after the last frost.

Harvesting and Storing:  Harvest roots in fall.  Harvest the young leaves right before the flowers bloom, and harvest the flowers when in bloom.  Use fresh or dry and store in air tight containers.

Companion Plants: none that I am aware of

Remarks:  The roots of this Marsh Mallow (althaea officinalis) were used in the original marshmallow candy.

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