Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Mallow Hallows

Another plant family lesson, no extra charge! We'll look at the Mallow (Malvaceae) Family. Hooray!

And yes, the treat you roast over a campfire has its roots (pun intended) in a plant of this family called - you guess it - marsh mallow (Althaea officialis).
Marshmallows today, if they aren't the vegan variety (DandiesSweet&Sara are the best, IMO), are made with gelatin (i.e., ground up hooves, usually of pigs).

As before, we'll look at characteristics of the 3 Fs: foliage (leaves, basically), flower, and fruit (the thing with the seeds).

Separate petals here means that you could pluck one out without taking another with it. Not that you'd pluck one, mind you.

Examples of chambered fruits below.

Photos by Ned Harris and Matt Ball; hand by highly trained naturalist

The fruits of Mallow family plants are sometimes mistaken for flowers themselves. Each of the compartments or chambers will contain one or more seeds.
More mallows on the morrow!

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