Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Marsh Mallow, Marshmallow
Althaea officinalis

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Althaea (AL-thay-uh) (Info)
Species: officinalis (oh-fiss-ih-NAH-liss) (Info)

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

42 members have or want this plant for trade.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 16 photos.
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4 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive flsusie On Aug 25, 2010, flsusie from New Port Richey, FL wrote:

this grows wild along the edges of the swamp here and is full bloom now.

Neutral Gabrielle On Aug 22, 2008, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Blooms early to late July in my garden.

Positive WUVIE On Mar 23, 2007, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Years ago I planted my first Marshmallow seeds when
my Hollyhock infatuation started. All this time later, the
plants have produced well and have grown quite large.

I recently cut all the dead foliage back to the ground just
in time, as spring is here and the marshmallow is more
than willing to come up once again.

A very pleasant plant to have in the garden. The bees
just love coming for a visit!

Positive MitchF On Aug 20, 2005, MitchF from Lindsay, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

I love this plant - looks great and takes our Texas heat and keeps blooming!

Positive PotEmUp On Feb 1, 2004, PotEmUp from Fremont, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

The original MARSHMALLOW was made in Egypt over 3,000 years ago. The pulp of the root was mixed with honey to create a candy.

Neutral mystic On Aug 22, 2001, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Has erect stems, 3 to 4 feet high, and pale pink to rose-colored flowers 1 to 1 1/2 inches across. Blooms in August or September. It's maple-like leaves are a velvety, soft gray-green with serrated edges. The roots are thick and long. The whole plant is used medicinally. The leaves and flowers are picked when the flowers are blooming. The roots are harvested in the fall, but the plant must be two years old before the root is harvested.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Merced, California
New Port Richey, Florida
Cordele, Georgia
Hazlehurst, Georgia
Olney, Illinois
Osborne, Kansas
Southborough, Massachusetts
Burton, Michigan
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Helena, Montana
Crown Point, New York
Grassy Creek, North Carolina
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Franklin, Pennsylvania
Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Conway, South Carolina
Houston, Texas
Leesburg, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Port Angeles, Washington

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