Purple Cloud Mallow
Malva sylvestris var. mauritiana
Succulent greens with striking tall spikes loaded with deep purple flowers all season. While this is a short-lived perennial, they bloom in their first year, and we treat them as annuals or biennials.
We found these seeds at a seed swap with only the word "Malva" written on the packet. Our hope was that this would be the variety called Khobeizeh (meaning mallow in Arabic) in Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and the Middle East in general. Khobeizeh is sautéed mallow greens with onions and a squeeze of lemon, and indeed this here mallow tastes great when cooked in this fashion. However, our Palestinian farmer and chef friends tell us our flowers are a bit too dark compared to theirs. That said, the leaves are edible (as are all leaves in the genus Malva) and they are nutritious.
It seems our mallow is certainly Malva sylvestris var. mauritania - particularly the varieties called "Mystic Merlin," "Bibor Felho" (meaning Purple Cloud), and French Mallow.
Please let us know if you recognize this variety! We would love to know more about it, but we already love it as is, and will keep growing it at our farm for its beauty and deliciousness.
This species is native to Western Europe, North Africa, and Asia.
Seeds per pack: 85
Germination rate: 71% on 12/28/2021
Planting / harvesting notes
Sow indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost and transplant after the frost. When the flowers fade, and they go to seed, consider cutting them back to their lower leaves and allow them to flower again in the fall.
Seed keeping notes
Allow seeds to dry on the plant and remove them from their dried seed pods.