Malva sylvestris is a spreading[3] herb,[8] which is an annual in North Africa,[9] biennial[5][10] in the Mediterranean[9] and a perennial elsewhere.[9][8] It can be straight or decumbent,[3][8] branched, and covered with fine soft hairs or none at all,[10] M. sylvestris is pleasing in appearance when it first starts to flower, but as the summer advances, “the leaves lose their deep green color and the stems assume a ragged appearance”.[6]

Described as reddish-purple,[10] bright pinkish-purple with dark stripes[3] and bright mauve-purple,[6] the flowers of Malva sylvestris appear in axillary clusters[8] of 2 to 4[5] and form irregularly and elongated along the main stem with the flowers at the base opening first.[8]

M. sylvestris has an epicalyx (or false calyx) with oblong segments, two-thirds as long as calyx[8] or 2–3 millimeters long and 1.5 millimeters wide.[5] Its calyx is free to the middle, 3–6 millimeters long,[5] with broadly triangular lobes[5] or ovate mostly 5–7 millimeters long.[8] The flowers are 2–4 times as long as the calyx;[10]

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