Sunday, February 28, 2016

Make a friend of a weed Mallow

An earlier post considered a weed known as Purslane.  This post considers another common weed Mallow.

Mallow, photographed in authour's own garden. Successfully transplanted from a building site
Where purslane is best cooked, mallow can be eaten fresh.  It is a delightful addition to salads.

One feature of mallow that gives a unique experience is that it is mucilaginous which means that it has a slight chewing gum type texture.  This is most prominent in new leaves when picked after a particularly wet period.

I've found that mallow is often a first-populater plant of sites where soil has been turned.  It is in this way that mallow will often spring up after a building has been demolished and the rubble cleared.  A small leave variety of mallow is sometimes found on the verge of established lawns - perhaps under trees.

In the Bible's Old Testament book of Job there is possibly a reference to marrow.  In Job 6:6 (New International Version), Job asks:

"Is tasteless food eaten without salt, 
or is there flavour in the sap of the mallow?"

This suggests that mallow has been a staple food for many years.

The nutritional benefits of mallow are listed here.  The benefits include its use as an anti-inflammatory.  Mallow is a handy thickener for soups and stews.


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