T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Malva pseudolavatera (Small tree mallow)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Malva
Species: M. pseudolavatera
Binomial name: Malva pseudolavatera
Synonyms: Lavatera cretica, Malva linnaei
Common name: Small tree mallow, Cornish mallow, Cretan hollyhock, Cretan mallow, Lesser tree mallow, Smaller tree mallow.

Long known as Lavatera cretica in New Zealand. Recently this species has been transferred to Malva by Ray (1998).
Malva pseudolavatera is a species of flowering plant in the mallow family known by the common names It is native to western Europe, North Africa, and the Mediterranean Basin and it is naturalised in areas with a Mediterranean type climate, such as parts of Australia, California and New Zealand. This is an annual or biennial herb growing a tough, somewhat hairy stem to a maximum height between 1 and 3 meters. The leaves are multilobed with flat or wavy edges, slightly hairy, and up to 10 centimetres long. 
Malva pseudolavatera bears small soft pastel flowers (less than 20mm in diameter). These and are deeply divided into five distinctive petals and they have purple lines radiating outwards to the top margin. The fruit is disc-shaped with 7 to 10 segments. The plant's preferred habitat is bare ground, waste areas, stockyards and roadsides. Mallows will establish in pasture especially in bare patches, in horticultural blocks, and in arable crops. Mallows can be a serious problem in lucerne crops because most of the usual herbicides safe to use over standing lucerne don’t control mallows well.





The stem.

A ripe fruit with 10 segments.

A green fruit with it protected sheath peeled back.