Althaea Species, Common Marshmallow, Marsh Mallow

Althaea officinalis

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Althaea (AL-thay-uh) (Info)
Species: officinalis (oh-fiss-ih-NAH-liss) (Info)
Synonym:Malva officinalis
View this plant in a garden




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual



Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Merced, California

New Port Richey, Florida

Port Orange, Florida

Cordele, Georgia

Hazlehurst, Georgia

Olney, Illinois

Osborne, Kansas

Southborough, Massachusetts

Burton, Michigan

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Wadena, Minnesota

Helena, Montana

Crown Point, New York

Grassy Creek, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Franklin, Pennsylvania

Pottstown, Pennsylvania

Conway, South Carolina

Houston, Texas

Leesburg, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Port Angeles, Washington

Port Angeles East, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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

Blooms early to late July in my garden.


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!


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!


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.


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.