Able to grow vertically or horizontally, this broadleaf weed features stems that lie close to the soil surface, with the tips turned upward. Short hairs are present on leaves, margins and stems. It has a straight taproot with a coarsely branched secondary root system. Common Mallow also features lobed leaves, making it easy to confuse with Ground Ivy. They can be distinguished by the fact that Common Mallow does not spread from nodes on its stems. It flowers from May to October, producing purplish-white flowers with dark-purple veins. The plant also produces fruit resembling a wheel of cheese, leading to the nicknames Cheese Weed and Cheese Mallow.
This broadleaf weed can be found in fields, gardens and disturbed areas of grass, such as lawns. It thrives in much of the continental United States.
Malva neglecta can usually be controlled with good cultural practices—such as proper watering and mowing routines—that increase the health and density of your grass. This can restrict the growth of Common Mallow as this broadleaf weed cannot compete with thick, lush grass, making lawn management the key to prevention.