Malva arborea Malvaceae Tree Mallow

A large plant In the Humps On a Shingle Bank

Malvaarborea 15kb

Description - A large mallow with woody, swollen stems, and large pink flowers which is common round the coasts of all the Channel Islands.

Habitat - Usually close to the sea, but does occur inland. It is often abundant on small islets where the soil is enriched by seabird droppings. Here it often forms a low forest the edge of which is seen in the photo taken on Godin, an island in the Humps (a group of islets north of Herm).

Comments - Like those of other mallows, the seeds of this plant are the food of Firebugs, which are now common in Guernsey. Tree Mallow has large, soft leaves. Local folkore has it that Tree Mallows were often planted next to the outdoor lavatory, where the leaves were very useful.

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