Sun exposure:
Dappled shade, full sun
East facing, south facing, west facing


Succeeds on poor soil:
Well Drained / Light / Sandy

Musk mallow (Malva moschata) is a perennial wildflower native to southern England, and closely related to the common mallow (Malva sylvestris). It's now found all over the British Isles and is common in hedgerows, field margins and along roadside verges. It has pretty pink summer flowers with a gentle, musky fragrance.

Musk mallow does best in dry soils and is a popular choice for cottage garden schemes and wildlife gardens. It's sometimes grown as part of a perennial wildflower meadow. It makes an excellent cut flower – indeed its musky fragrance is enhanced when the flowers are brought indoors.

For garden use, the white-flowered variety 'Snow White' is most common.

How to identify musk mallow

Musk mallow has small, saucer-shaped baby pink (occasionally white) flowers with five petals, and a musky fragrance. It has deeply lobed, hairy leaves and hairy stems. It can grow to heights of 1m, although dwarf cultivars are available.

Advice on buying musk mallow

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  • Musk mallow is available from garden centres but you're most likely to find the white-flowered variety 'Snow White'. For the native wildflower, try wildflower stockists
  • Ensure you have the right growing conditions for musk mallow – dry soils and full sun are perfect
  • Always check plants for signs of disease or damage before planting

Where to buy musk mallow

Plant calendar


Malva and wildlife

Malva is known for attracting bees, beneficial insects, butterflies/moths and other pollinators. It is a caterpillar food plant and has nectar/pollen rich flowers.

Is known to attract Bees
Is known to attract Beneficial insects
Beneficial insects
Is not known to attract Birds
Is known to attract Butterflies/​Moths
Is known to attract Other pollinators
Other pollinators

Is Malva poisonous?

Malva has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:
Is not known to attract Birds
Is not known to attract Cats
Is not known to attract Dogs
Is not known to attract Horses
Is not known to attract Livestock
Is not known to attract People