Marshmallow, a cute medicinal flower

Althaea officinalis, marshmallow

Medicinal marshmallow, or Althaea officinalis, is both grown as a medicinal herb for its therapeutic properties and as an ornamental plant since its flowers are so cute.

Main Marshmallow facts

NameAlthaea officinalis
FamilyMalvaceae (mallow family)
Type – herbs and spices, perennial

Height – 3 to 5 feet (1 to 1.5 m)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – rich enough

Flowering – June to September
Harvest – July to September

How to grow marshmallow

Althaea officinalis plantingMarshmallow requires sun, ideally soft sunlight and moist, rich soil. It can grow in salty soil, too.

Sowing and planting marshmallow

Proceed to sow directly in the plot starting in May-June or at the latest during the month of July.

Marshmallow in pots

Growing marshmallow in pots is never really successful, we strongly advise that you spend your efforts for something less ungrateful…

Marshmallow plant care

Trimming the marshmallow

Pruning and caring for marshmallowAll parts of the plant (roots, leaves and flowers) can be collected to be eaten.

Wait for the summer to gather them.

Watch out for small bugs!

Although marshmallow is left alone by most critters, it is however highly vulnerable to rust. Also, avoid planting your marshmallow near hollyhock because rust attacks would do double the damage.

Different varieties of marshmallow

The only known species is the one harvested for medicinal purposes. However, a cousin species deserves to be mentioned: hollyhock (Alcea rosea) is also from the mallow family and is grown as an ornamental plant.

Hollyhock has the same medicinal uses as marshmallow. However, its root doesn’t contain as much mucilage. Refreshing drinks can be colored with the purple flowers of hollyhock and its leaves can be eaten like other cooked greens.

All there is to know about marshmallow

Both a very beautiful ornamental plant and herb used for medicine and cooking, marshmallow is one of the ingredients in the traditional sweets that bear its name.

This is a very melliferous plant.

With high levels of mucilage, it boasts relaxing and moisturizing properties and thus is included in certain medicines like cough syrup.

Smart tip about marshmallow

The flowers are edible and can be added to your mixed salads and desserts!

Images: adobestock: Liane M., CC BY 2.0: Doug McGrady, CC BY-SA 2.0: Björn