Perennial permanently established in our flora. The musk mallow’s flowers have a characteristic scent, which is used in perfume composition and as an aphrodisiac. Wild, non-cultivar seeds.
€1,50 – €7,50
Polish name: musk mallow musk bismalva
Latin name: Malva moschata
Family : Malvaceae
Status in Poland:a plant that is permanently established in Poland, with a questioned status in the domestic flora (perhaps it had just gone feral everywhere? Maybe it is native to some regions, especially mountain and seaside?)
Medium height tufted perennial with numerous, slightly branched shoots, 20-60 cm high.
Musk mallow forms the spindle shaped main root. Aboveground shoots are ciliated, erect, and branched.
It owes its species name to the musky scent of shiny, orbicular, distichous-lobate, narrow, hairy, and sticky leaves to the touch.
The bismalva flowers are single, actinomorphic, bisexual, rarely pink, usually white with 40-60 mm diameter. They give off a strong scent, just like the leaves. Each flower is formed of: a 5-sepaled calyx, a triple epicalyx, a corolla 3-4 times longer than the calyx, and finally a multitude of stamens, and pistils. The aforementioned stamens fuse together to form a tube typical of mallows, sometimes called a column.
The fruit in the form of a schizocarp typical for the mallow family, composed of a dozen or so mericarps.
Musk mallow requires a very sunny place, and a dry or moderately moist soil, with a neutral or slightly acidic reaction. It prefers slightly more fertile and more humus soil.
It will cope great both on rocky, gravelly, even very barren as well as medium-compact, humus-sandy substrates. In spring and autumn, it can be reproduced from seeds, and in summer by seedlings from herbaceous shoots. In traditional and naturalistic gardens, alpine gardens, field margins in orchards, containers, and in urban meadows, besides the wild type, white-flowering varieties such as ‘Alba’ are popular. Perfectly tolerates frosts.
Like other wild mallows, it can reproduce by self-seeding, but it disappears from meadows and lawns mowed too early.
The scent of musk is not liked by everyone, but it has been one of the most expensive perfumes and aphrodisiacs from time immemorial.
Natural musks are mainly obtained from animals, not plants. The most frequently suppliers of this secretion are: skunk, muskrat, Siberian musk deer, muskox, Muscovy duck, and musk beetle. Semi-synthetic musk is produced from garden angelica metabolites. Fully synthetic, “nitro”, equivalents of this fragrance can also be obtained by nitration of xylene or toluene derivatives.
Eagerly visited by bees, long flowering (from June to October). Mallows pollen is not collected by bees, but nectar is highly valued by insects and their keepers. Mallows differentiate the bee pastures and have a positive effect on the aroma and taste of honey.