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It is native to Eurasia and North Africa, and it is known on other continents as an introduced species and sometimes a weed.
Malva nicaeensis is an annual or biennial herb producing a hairy, upright stem up to 60 centimeters long. The leaves are up to 12 centimeters wide and have several slight lobes along the edges.
Flowers appear in the leaf axils, each with pinkish to light purple petals around a centimeter long. The disc-shaped fruit has several segments.
Plant uses & properties
In the Levant, mallows grow profusely after the first winter rains. The leaves and stems are edible, and are widely collected by indigenous peoples for food, as they make an excellent garnish when chopped and fried in olive-oil with onions and spices. In Israel, the Arabic name for this plant, "chubezza" (Arabic: الخبيزة), is well-known and is used also by Israelis whenever referring to the plant.
- "Malva nicaeensis". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-02-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
- Six Orders of the Mishnah, Eshkol Publishers: Jerusalem 1978, Mishnah Kila'im 1:8, Rabbi Obadiah di Bertinoro's Commentary, s.v. חלמית.
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