Scientific Name: Malva neglecta
Common mallow ranges from a winter annual to a perennial depending on the location. The spreading stems of mallow grow prostrate with leaves borne on long petioles. Common mallow grows from a thick straight taproot. The leaves are lobed and can be confused with ground ivy. Mallow leaves are attached to the stem at the back of a rounded leaf, where ground ivy is attached in the center of the leaf and has a hairy upper surface. Mallow does not spread from nodes on stems as does ground ivy. The flowers of common mallow are present from May to October. The flowers are white to lavender and have dark violet veins. The fruit resembles a cheese wheel. Mallow spreads by seed. Common mallow is found throughout the United States.
Weekly mowing and low mowing heights will help prevent infestations of mallow. Dense turf stands resist mallow invasion, so good turf management is key to controlling this weed.
For optimum control make your post-emergence herbicide application to mallow that is actively growing and in the seedling to flower stage of growth.
Weed Photos: Courtesy of Dr. Lambert McCartey. Clemson University. Clemson, SC.