|Illustration of the leaves and seeds of M. verticillata|
Malva verticillata, also known as the Chinese mallow or cluster mallow, is a species of the mallow genus Malva in the family of Malvaceae found in East Asia. M. verticillata is an annual or biennial that grow up to 1.7 meters in high and can inhabit woodland areas of different soil types. In temperate climates, it flowers from July to September and the seeds from August to October. The flowers of the plant are self-fertile but can also be pollinated by insects.
The plant was an important leaf vegetable in pre-Han Dynasty China and widely cultivated. Mallow is mentioned in Huangdi Neijing as one of the five consumable herbs (五菜) which included mallow (葵), pea leaves (藿), Allium macrostemon (薤), Welsh onion (蔥) and Garlic chives (韭). 
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