Earlier this week i took a stroll with dogs around a local estuarine nature reserve, while i was dawdling along one of the pathway created through the scrubland i kept seeing these lovely looking mauve/lilac coloured flowers every so often. They were quite striking in appearance that i took a couple of pictures with my phone and checked their ID against a plant identification app i have on my fancy phone thingy. Turns out these beautiful little flowers belonged to a plant called ‘COMMON MALLOW’ or ‘ROUND DOCK’. Now roll onto today and i,m taking another walk with the dogs to a local tidal salt river and everywhere i look, along the pathway to the water, all i see is more Common Mallows. I’ve never noticed them here before but i guess now that i,ve taken notice of this pretty little thing i,m noticing them more.
Now having seen so many of these plants i thought Identification do a little research into them, so here’s the information that i,ve gleaned of the interwebnet thingy.
- Their leaves are five lobed and a pentagon with a crinkly appearance and can be eaten raw, when young, or cooked when larger. Apparently they have a very subtle flavour.
- The flowers can be from a pink to lilac colour even a deep purple and are slightly trumpet shaped that open out flat as they grow. The flowers can be eaten but basically have no flavour so are just used as a colourful garnish.
- The young seed pods are called ‘cheeses’ and can be eaten when picked fresh and have a mild nutty flavour.
- They grow along roadsides, path edges, scrubland and waste ground, basically anywhere that is left to its own devices. They are also commonly found in these places near the sea.
- They do have a medicinal use and that is as a laxative and also, if made into a poultice, as a treatment for skin wounds.
Well there you have it, a little information on what is basically a commonplace plant that we probably don’t really notice much. I,ll definitely be paying more attention to this little beauty in the near future as i fancy having a nibble on the seedpods, ‘cheeses’, when they are ready, as a little snack when out on my walks.