Botanist's Glossary

Marshmallow - Althaea officinalis

  • Description
    • Marshmallow (Malvaceae family) is a large herbaceous perennial with velvety gray-green leaves and pretty pink-white flowers. It is common in Europe, where it grows in damp coastal areas and low river valleys. Its thick, velvet-soft leaves have emollient properties. Marshmallow is cultivated for its root. It is given to teething infants in the form of a chewstick.
  • Traditions
    • Marshmallow is an important softening ingredient in popular medicine, where it is used for most external and internal inflam