Althaea officinalis L.
  • Sp. Pl. : 686 (1753)
  • Leamhach

Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2023): Althaea officinalis L. Published on the Internet; Accessed on: 07 Feb 2023'

General Information

Herbs perennial, erect, ca. 1 m tall; stem densely stellate hirsute. Petiole 1-4 cm, stellate tomentose; leaf blade ovate-orbicular or cordate, 3-lobed or not lobed, 3-8 × 1.5-6 cm, papery, both surfaces densely stellate tomentose, base nearly cordate or rounded, margin bluntly dentate, apex acute. Epicalyx lobes 9, lanceolate, ca. 4 mm, densely stellate strigose. Calyx cup-shaped, persistent, 5-parted, longer than epicalyx, densely stellate hirsute, lobes lanceolate. Corolla pink, ca. 2.5
cm in diam.; petals ca. 1.5 cm, obovate-oblong. Staminal column ca. 8 mm. Ovary 15-25-loculed. Fruit a disk-shaped schizocarp, ca. 8 mm in diam., enclosed by calyx, puberulent. Seeds reniform. Fl. Jul.

  • Provided by: [D].Flora of China @
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    Herbs perennial, to 1.5 m. Stems erect, clustered, branched distally or unbranched, softly stellate-tomentose. Leaves: stipules somewhat persistent, usually caducous, linear-lanceolate, subulate, sometimes 2-fid or dentate, (2–)5–8 mm, densely stellate-hairy; petioles 1–6 cm, reduced on distal leaves, usually shorter than blade; blades of proximal leaves ovate or obscurely 3-lobed less than 1/2 to midrib, distal leaves deltate-ovate to ovate, (2–)4–10 × 2–7 cm, base truncate to cuneate, lobes acuminate or broadly acute to obtuse, middle lobe larger than others, deeply plicate, margins irregularly dentate to crenate-serrate, surfaces softly stellate-tomentose, ribs very prominent abaxially. Inflorescences solitary flowers or 2–4-flowered fascicles in leaf axil, sometimes aggregated apically into terminal false racemes. Pedicels/peduncles 0.5–4 cm; involucellar bractlets 8–12, erect, linear-lanceolate, 1/2 length of calyx, 6 mm, lobes 2–6 × 1–2 mm, stellate-tomentose. Flowers: calyx 8–10 mm, lobes narrowly ovate-acuminate, 6 mm, 2 times as long as tube, stellate-velutinous; petals usually pale pink, rarely white, cuneate-obovate, 7.5–15 × 6–13 mm, 2–3 times as long as calyx, apex obtuse or notched; staminal column 3–5 mm, glabrous or sparsely papillose-hairy; anthers in upper 1/2, dark purple; style 15–20-branched. Fruits partially concealed by incurved, somewhat accrescent calyx lobes, 7–9 mm diam.; mericarps 15–20, brown, unwinged, orbiculate-reniform, 1.5–2.5 × 2–3 mm, rugose, lateral surface smooth, membranous, dorsal surface stellate-tomentose with medial furrow. Seeds brown, reniform-round, 1.5–2 × 1–1.5 mm, glabrous. 2n = 42.

  • Provided by: [B].Flora of North America @
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Perennial erect herbs. Branches densely tomentose, velutinous. Leaves 3-5 cm long, 2-4 cm broad, triangular to broadly ovate, rounded or truncate at base, acute to acuminate at apex, irregularly serrate to crenate or dentate, sometimes shallowly 3-lobed, densely pubescent and velutinous on both sides, more so beneath; stipules linear or linear-lanceolate, 3-5 mm long; petiole 1-5 cm long. Flowers axillary. fascicled on common peduncle, equalling or slightly exceeding the petiole; pedicels short, 2-10 mm long. Epicalyx segments 8-12, 3-5 mm long. Calyx 6-10 mm long, fused below the middle, enclosing fruit; lobes lanceolate to ovate, acuminate. Corolla pinkish or almost white, 2-3 cm across; petals 1-2 cm long 0.5-1.5 cm broad, obovate, slightly notched at apex, claw ciliate on the margin. Fruit 7-8 mm across, globular, pubescent; mericarps 15-25, 3-3.5 mm long, laterally 2.5-3 mm broad, dorsallyl-1.5 mm broad. Seeds 2-2.5 mm across, reniform, dark brown, glabrous, smooth.

  • Provided by: [A].Flora of Pakistan
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Erect, branched, 5–12 dm; lvs ovate, 5–10 cm, coarsely serrate and commonly shallowly 3-lobed, velvety; fls several in peduncled clusters from the upper axils, pink, 3 cm wide; bractlets narrowly lanceolate; 2n=42. Native of Europe; naturalized in salt marshes from Mass. to Va., and locally inland. July–Sept.

  • Provided by: [G].Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern US and Canada
    • Source: [
    • 5
    • ]. 


    50–150 cm hoch, meist unverzweigt, samtig-filzig behaart. Blätter im Umriss 3- oder 5eckig, mit spitzen Lappen oder ± ungeteilt, unregelmässig gezähnt. Blüten zu mehreren, kurz gestielt in den Blattwinkeln. Aussenkelchblätter 6–9, allmähl

  • Provided by: [C].Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 


    7–8. Kultiviert und verwildert, kollin.

  • Provided by: [C].Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Nationally Preferred Names


    Other Local Names

    Leamhach mhuigheIrishIE
    Altea comune, BismalvaItalianCH
    Guimauve officinaleFrenchCH
    Leamhach bUí (or Leamaigh)IrishIE
    Echter EibischGermanCH
    Marshmallow, guimauve officinale

     Information From

    Flora of Pakistan
    Flora of Pakistan. Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed on Jun. 2020.
    • A Missouri Botanical Garden
    Flora of North America @
    'Flora of North America @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • B Flora of North America Association
    Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz
    Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz, Konrad Lauber, Gerhart Wagner, Andreas Gygax. Haupt Verlag 2018.
    • C All Rights Reserved
    Flora of China @
    'Flora of China @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • D Missouri Botanical Garden
    Irish Vernacular Names
    • E All Rights Reserved
    World Flora Online Data. 2022.
    • F CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern US and Canada
    Descriptions of plants should be attributed to the full citation for each individual article, chapter or book that is the source for each record, which should include the authors of original publication.
    • G Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
    World Flora Online Consortium
    World Flora Online Data. 2017.
    • H CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).