Malva rotundifolia Desf.


Synonyms: Malva neglecta Wallr.

Common names: Dwarf mallow, round dock (English); mauve, petite mauve, fromagère (French); Käsemalve (German); malva, erba di San Simone, piccola malva (Italian); khobbez (Arabic), other vernacular names: hubbeyzī, hubbāzī, hubbayzah.



Annual, 10-25 cm. Stems many, procumbent. Leaves with blade orbicular to reniform, crenate, lobed. Flowers white with pink veins.




Waste areas.


Mediterranean and Irano-Turanian, also Euro-Siberian.

Malva rotundifolia L.


In the badia: Al-Khatīb: blood clots (together with Fraxinus and Lactuca saligna)

Field data: kidney stones, gastro-intestinal troubles.

In literature: purgative anti-inflammatory; kidney stones; chest diseases (flowers); soothing and emollient for the skin (leaves); acute enteritis (by enema); gastro-intestinal disorders, constipation, colitis (concentrated decoction); emollients in dermatosis, haemorrhoids, abscesses (cataplasms); buccal-pharyngal infections (gargarisms); masticatory, intra-buccal frictions (roots).

Its use as forage has not been scientifically investigated.

Palatability and importance as forage

Grazed by livestock only in case of drought.

Chemical Data

Flavonoids, uronic mucilage.


Bedevian, A. K. 1936. Illustrated Polyglottic Dictionary of Plant names. Cairo, Argus D Papazian Presses.

Ozenda, P. 1991. Flore et végétation du Sahara. Paris, Ed. du CNRS.


Edited by: F. Guiso Gallisai
Information taken from: Sincich, F. 2002. Bedouin Traditional Medicine in the Syrian Steppe. Rome, FAO. 114-115.

All pictures and drawings belong to the author.


The presentation of material in this profile do not imply the expression of any opinion on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and has been taken from interviews with the traditional Bedouin doctor, Al-Khatīb and from data collected directly from Bedouins informants.