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Althaea officinalis, marshmallow, is a hardy perennial ornamental and medicinal plant with cream to pale pink flowers in summer and autumn. The leaves are furry and heart shaped which are lovely and tactile. Grows best in a moist and humus rich soil. Frost hardy, and may die down in winter, and the stems should be cut back in this case. Can grow to around a metre or so tall. The flowers and yound leaves are edible, and can be used in salads. The roots are medicinal, and are best from older plants. They can be used to soothe sore throats and skin, either as a tea or as a poultice. Powdered roots were used to make marshmallow confectionary.
Propagation is by seed sown in spring, or by division.
Flower colour: cream
Flowering season: summer autumn
Maximum height: 1.2 metres
Minimum height: 0.5 metres
Maximum width: 0.5 metres
Minimum width: 0.2 metres
This plant will tolerate full or partial sunlight.
High frost tolerance.
Plant is salt tolerant.
This plant species will grow in the following climates: cool, temperate.
Loam: moist, well-drained.
Planting season: Spring.
Types of fertiliser: Good general purpose fertiliser.