Common Mallow

Weeds

cheese weed, cheese mallow, dwarf mallow, running mallow, button weed, round-leaf mallow, blue mallow

Malva neglecta


An annual or biennial of low maintenance turf and waste areas. Common mallow most often establishes along culverts, fencelines and near foundations. Common mallow forms a clump whorled branches that do not root where they touch the ground. Mallow has a distintive palmately compound leaf and a 'cheese wheel' seed pod. Plants reproduce by seed and produce pinkish-to-white flowers in mid-summer.

  • Crops Affected: Turfgrass

    Management

    As the Latin name Malva neglecta indicates, common mallow is most often a problem in areas of low or no maintenance and property boundary areas. Routine mowing and increased nitrogen fertilization are very effective at reducing the competitiveness of common mallow. Hand weeding is extremely effective for mallow as long as the tap root is completely removed.

    Similar Species

    Mallow is most often confused with ground ivy. There are several keys characteristics that set these to species apart.

    Common mallow has round stems (not square) and will not root where the stems touch the ground. Mallow has an alternate leaf arrangement whereas ground ivy is opposite. Finally, ground ivy leaves tend to overlap where the base of the leaf where the leaf attached to the petiole. Conversely, the lobes on mallow usually do not overlap and have a distinctive pink tinge at the center.