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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

20 December, 2016

Musk Mallow: graceful and delicate

My field guide describes the musk mallow (Malva moschata) as a graceful plant; how something that does not move can be graceful I am not sure but yet I knows what the author means. Although it can grow to over two feet tall and is quite a sturdy plant I think it looks very delicate; perhaps more delicate than graceful? That delicacy is, possibly, due to lovely pale pink flowers that adorn the plant from June to August.
The flower is classic mallow in style, five equal and almost triangular petals around a cluster of stamens in the middle. The flowers do have a faint musky smell hence the common name. Not only does the pale pink flower tend to set it apart from other mallows the leaves are very different too being deeply cut in to narrow strips. 
It is not a not common plant but it can be found on dry, bare areas in grassy and scrubby places and sometimes it can be found as a weed of cultivation. Being such a lovely flower it can also be found in gardens and can be more common near human habitation than it further away.
Musk Mallow: graceful and delicate