Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Mallow, French Hollyhock
Malva sylvestris 'Mystic Merlin'

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Malva (MAL-vuh) (Info)
Species: sylvestris (sil-VESS-triss) (Info)
Cultivar: Mystic Merlin

One vendor has this plant for sale.

14 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

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)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid 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)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

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to view:

By Gabrielle
Thumbnail #1 of Malva sylvestris by Gabrielle

By rh3708
Thumbnail #2 of Malva sylvestris by rh3708

Thumbnail #3 of Malva sylvestris by WUVIE

By Fairy1004
Thumbnail #4 of Malva sylvestris by Fairy1004

By ApopkaJohn
Thumbnail #5 of Malva sylvestris by ApopkaJohn

By ApopkaJohn
Thumbnail #6 of Malva sylvestris by ApopkaJohn


7 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive DLee4144 On Feb 25, 2014, DLee4144 from Edwardsville, IL wrote:

Combined with yellow roses, these are a showstopper. I've really never seen anything prettier. Unfortunately, not for long, because the rabbits love them almost as much as I do. Scattering poison daily seems to do the trick, but I actually kinda like rabbits and I'm not a big fan of exposing myself to the poison that much. I'm considering getting small dogs and an underground electric fence, since I don't think I can catch the rabbits to put the collars on them.

Positive PamelaBaja On Jun 11, 2012, PamelaBaja from Sierra de San Pedro Mrtir, Baja
Mexico (Zone 8b) wrote:

planted this last summer, no flowers that year and only 18" tall. It is currently 6 feet tall and has been covered in blooms for two months now! It is huge! Bees and hummingbirds seem to be very attracted to it. Wondering if it will die down this fall as it was evergreen all winter here even with -8celcius in the mountains at 4800 feet in Mxico.

Neutral ApopkaJohn On Jun 27, 2011, ApopkaJohn from Apopka, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Tried to grow these in Orlando. These wilt in the hot sun, but otherwise seem to be easy to grow, except they didn't bloom the first year. Bloomed in June from seed the prior year. Beatifull pest-free foliage.

Positive monameeee On Jun 21, 2010, monameeee from Stone Mountain, GA wrote:

My Zebra Mallow is Slender, Tall, & Beautiful but the deer thought so too and I guess tastes great....Hoping it will come back as they ate pretty much almost all of it.

Positive Fairy1004 On Jun 7, 2008, Fairy1004 from (bestest fairy)Temperance, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

It seems I am having a different experience with mine than some others-if you look at the pic I uploaded it kinda sprawls..I bought it last year at a nursery and it was a tiny things that the rabbits ate everytime it got a couple leaves. Well this year it is HUGE!!! I am going to have to either move it or everything around it since it is at least 2X the size I anticipated!! I thought it would be slender stalks not the gargantuous thing I have-beautiful though w/ purple flowers!!

Positive mbhoakct76 On Oct 1, 2007, mbhoakct76 from Winsted, CT wrote:

i grabbed this plant at a nursury not even knowing what to expect, now its one of the best flowers in my garden. It flowers throughout the entire spring and summer where at least one flower can be found at all times, the colors are unbelieveably vibrant.
This plant grows quite tall quickly , but doesnt seem to bush out at all and keeps to a couple slender stalks, best planted in the middle to back of the garden

Positive eljae On Jul 19, 2007, eljae from New Castle, DE wrote:

My Zebra Mallow started growing wild in my flowerbed. I assume the lovely birds transplanted it. The greenery itself was so attractive, I just couldn't pull it out. Then to my surprise, beautiful purple striped blooms started appearing inside the plant. I'm glad I was able to identify it. I look forward to enjoying it's full beauty. Oh, it seems to have a few more starting to sprout. Very easy to care for . . . I've done nothing!!

Neutral Gabrielle On Feb 5, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

A pretty flower, but it LOVES to self-seed. I have it coming up everywhere. It has a long tap-root that makes it hard to pull up without landing on your bottom if it gives! My information says hardy in zones 3-10. Other names include High Mallow, Malva, Tall Mallow, and Zebra Hollyhock.

Positive MalvaFan On Sep 21, 2005, MalvaFan from Morrice, MI wrote:

This variety is similiar to Bibor Felho and I like them both.
Bees, hummingbirds, butterflies flock to this plant.


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

Winsted, Connecticut
New Castle, Delaware
Apopka, Florida
Patterson, Georgia
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Edwardsville, Illinois
Halifax, Massachusetts
Temperance, Michigan
Florence, Mississippi
Brooklyn, New York
Buffalo, New York
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Florence, South Carolina
Lafayette, Tennessee

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