Marsh-mallow - Althaea officinalis


Tall, soft grey woolly plant to 2 metres. Leaves triangular-oval in outline toothed. Flowers pale pink, 25 to 40 mm.  

Identification difficulty

A herb of coastal habitats, growing on the banks of ditches containing brackish water, in brackish pastures, and in the transition zone between the upper saltmarsh and freshwater habitats. It is intolerant of grazing and cutting. It also occurs as a garden escape.

When to see it

Flowers August and September.

Life History


UK Status

A. officinalis has declined throughout most of its British range, due to drainage and development in the coastal zone. Much of the loss occurred before 1930, but it has continued since then, particularly in East Anglia.

VC55 Status

Rare in Leicestershire and Rutland. It was not recorded in the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map