Malva nicaeensis, French Mallow, Southern Mallow, Bull Mallow,
Hebrew: חלמית מצויה, Arabic: خبازة نيسية

Scientific name:  Malva nicaeensis All.
Common name:  French Mallow, Southern Mallow, Bull Mallow
Hebrew name:   חלמית מצויה
Arabic name:  خبازة نيسية
Family:  Malvaceae, חלמיתיים

פרחים בישראל, צמחי בר

Life form:  Therophyte, annual
Stems:  Up to 60 cm; taprooted, several−many-stemmed at base, decumbent and ascending to erect; villous-hirsute; ridged, to 12 mm diameter, with low and broad ridges descending from each leaf, tough, green
Leaves:  Alternate, palmately 5 or 7 lobed, long-petiolate, stipules 2; entire, dentate or serrate
Inflorescence:  Compacted cyme, axillary, 2–6 flowered; pedicels generally reflexed in fruit; bractlets 4–5 mm, lanceolate to ovate
Flowers:  Calyx 5-lobed, 4–5 mm in flower, enlarging somewhat and arching over fruit, veiny, lobes generally glabrous inside; 5 petals 10–12 mm, pink to blue-violet without darker veins, remaining blue when dry, claws generally hairy; 18-20 stamens, monadelphous, pubescent; ovary superior
Fruits / pods:  Schizocarp, segments 7–9, wrinkled, net-veined, glabrous to hairy, margins sharp, not winged, dark orangey brown; seed commashaped, cinnamon brown
Flowering Period:   February, March, April, May, June
Habitat:  Nutrient-rich soils, ruderal
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Shrub-steppes, Deserts and extreme deserts
Chorotype:  Med - Irano-Turanian
Summer shedding:  Ephemeral

Malva nicaeensis, French Mallow, Southern Mallow, Bull Mallow, חלמית מצויה


Derivation of the botanical name:
Malva, from the Greek word "malache", meaning "mallow" and "malakos", "soft, gentle,", referring to the abundant mucilage in certain species, which softens the skin.
nicaeensis, nicaeens, Nicene, an inhabitant "of Nice (formerly Nicaea Maritima) France; Iznik (formerly Nicaea), Turkey".
  • The standard author abbreviation All. is used to indicate Carlo Allioni (1728 – 1804), an Italian physician and professor of botany at the University of Turin.
The flowers open in the morning and close at night, and after pollination develop a fruit, which consists of several carpels.

Bible resources:
  1. Job 6:6-7
    Is tasteless food eaten without salt, or is there flavor in the white of an egg?
    I refuse to touch it; such food makes me ill.

Malva nicaeensis, French Mallow, Southern Mallow, Bull Mallow, חלמית מצויה


Malva nicaeensis, French Mallow, Southern Mallow, Bull Mallow, חלמית מצויה
Location: Achu Binyamina