seeds of Malva verticillata, Cluster Mallow, Chinese Mallow

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Malva verticillata Samen
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Malva verticillata, also called Cluster mallow or the Chinese mallow, is flowering plant species of the family Malvaceae. This plant’s synonyms include Althaea crispa, Althaea verticillata, and Malva crispa. Malva verticillata is native to East Asia, more specifically, China where it grew in the wild for centuries. The plant later spread to other Asian countries and further west to Europe where it grows today. Malva verticillata is capable of fertilising itself but also allows for insect pollination. The flowers are tube-shaped and can have either be pink, white or red. The leaves, on the other hand, are simple, alternate and are either lobed or aren’t. Pollination results in the sprouting of dry fruits that have a length of 8 mm. Malva verticillata is capable of growing to a height of 1.7 metres. While many might not consider Malva verticillata a vegetable now, there was a time that wasn’t the case. A glance at history in Pre-Han China places Malva verticillata as being one of several major vegetables at that juncture. The leaves can be eaten raw, added to salads or cooked. The seeds are also edible and can be consumed either raw or cooked. It is important, however, to eat the seeds while they are still immature. Malva verticillata has some medicinal attributes that can be exploited to create remedies. One can count on the properties of the plant as being diuretic, laxative, emollient and demulcent. While the plant may provide relief, it is important that one visits a doctor first. Additional use of the plant involves the extraction of dye from the seeds and different parts of the plant. The dye produced will be green, cream or yellow colour. Malva verticillata can grow in both woodland areas and temperate climates. The plant prefers soils types that are one of three; medium loamy, heavy clay or slightly sandy.
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