Malva species in India:

  1. Malva ambigua Guss. (synonym of M. sylvestris L.)
  2. M. cathayensis M.G.Gilbert, Y.Tang & Dorr (syn. Malva cavanillesiana M.Bieb. Raizada)
  3. Malva ludwigii (L.) Soldano
  4. M. mauritiana L. (syn. of Malva sylvestris var. mauritiana (L.) Boiss.)
  5. M. mohileviensis Downar (synonym of M. verticillata L)
  6. M. neglecta Wallr.
  7. M. parviflora L.
  8. M. pusilla Sm.
  9. M. sylvestris L.
  10. M. verticillata L.


  1. Paul, T.K. 1993. Malvaceae. In; Sharma, B.D. & Sanjappa, M. (eds.)
    Flora of India vol-3. BSI, Calcutta. Pp.356-367.
  2. International Plant Name Index (IPNI)
  3. eFI page 

BSI Flora of India with details & keys (Volume 3- 1993) (Distribution):
Malva ambigua Guss. (India: N.W. Himalayas in subtropical to temperate forests between 1200 and 3000 m. Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh; Pakistan, W. & E. Mediterranean region and C.I.S.) (is a synonym of Malva sylvestris L. )
Malva mauritiana L. (India: Occasionally cultivated or running wild as an escape; W. Europe, Mediterranean region and C.I.S.) (syn. of Malva sylvestris var. mauritiana (L.) Boiss.)
Malva mohileviensis Downar (India: Rajasthan; Pakistan, C.I.S., Europe and Japan) (is a synonym of Malva verticillata L. )
Malva neglecta Wallr. (India: Throughout Himalyas in temperate forests between 2000 and 3000 m. Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal (Darjeeling); Pakistan, Afghanistan, Europe, Nepal, Bhutan Myanmar and Australia)
    var. microcarpa (Pers.) Loscos (India: Rajasthan; Pakistan and Malesia, native of Mediterranean region)
    var. parviflora (India: In subtropical and temperate forests between 1200 and 2400 m. Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu; Pakistan, W. Asia, N. Africa, Europe, Nepal and Bhutan)
Malva pusilla Smith (Masters (l.c.) mentioned the occurance of this taxon in Bengal and Mysore, but so far it has not been collected from these localities)
Malva sylvestris L. (India: Tropical to temperate forests between 600 and 3000 m. Jammu & kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu; Tropical and temperate regions of Asia and Europe)
   var. rafiqii S. Abedin (India: Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh; Pakistan and China)
   var. verticillata (India: Cultivated, occasionally running wild as an escape in Tamil Nadu(Nilgirls); Asia, Europe, Egypt and S. Africa)

Floral Database of Tamilnadu


Binomial Habit Notes References Distribution

Herb Dry Evergreen
to Dry Deciduous Forests
Flora of Tamil
Nadu, VOL. I, 1983; Gamble, 1957
Malva sylvestris L. Erect
Ghats, Higher elevation, Naturalized, also Cultivated, Native of Eurasia
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. I, 1983; Gamble, 1957
Malva verticillata L. Erect
Ghats, High Altitude, Weed of cultivation
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. I, 1983; Gamble, 1957


Botanical name Synonyms Family Common name
Malva microcarpa Malva parviflora var. microcarpa Malvaceae Least Mallow
Malva neglecta   Malvaceae Common Mallow
Malva pusilla Malva rotundifolia Malvaceae Small Mallow

Malva mauritiana Linn. (Mediterranean region, W.Europe and Russia. Elsewhere cultivated) (syn. of Malva sylvestris var. mauritiana (L.) Boiss.)
Malva microcarpa Pers. (Native in the Mediterranean region; Malesia and Pakistan) (syn. of Malva parviflora L.)
Malva neglecta Wallr. (Worldwide but of Old World origin. Naturalized in America. In Pakistan it widely occurs from plains to 14000 ft.)
Malva parviflora Linn. (Europe, N.Africa, S. and W-Asia)
Malva sylvestris Linn. (W. Europe, N.Africa and Asia. It is occasionally cultivated in Pakistan)
Malva verticillata var. verticillata (Native of China; Europe, Asia, Ethiopia and Egypt) 

Malva parviflora L. (Mediterranean, S.W. Europe, subtropical and tropical Asia)
Malva sylvestris L. (Europe, N. Africa, Himalaya, N. Asia, often cultivated)
Malva verticillata L. (Europe, Egypt, Abyssinia, Himalaya (Kashmir to Bhutan), India, China, N.E. Asia, occasionally cultivated)

Malva pusilla Smith in Smith & Sowerby [Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan; Asia, Europe].
Malva verticillata var. crispa Linnaeus [India, Pakistan; Europe; invasive weed in North America].
Malva verticillata var. rafiqii Abedin [N India, Korea, Pakistan].
Malva verticillata var. verticillata [?Bhutan, India, Korea, Myanmar; Africa (Ethiopia), Europe]. 

Malvaceae of Southern Peninsular India: A Taxonomic Monograph By V. V. Sivarajan, A. K. Pradeep (1996)- Details with keys
Flora of Davanagere District, Karnataka, India By B. K. Manjunatha, V. Krishna, T. Pullaiah (2004)- Details with keys

Edible Medicinal and Non Medicinal Plants, Volume 8: Flowers By T. K. Lim (2014)- Details-

Malva (Malvaceae) : 6 posts by 2 authors.

I have updated eFI (efloraofindia) page on Malva (Pl. click).

Attempts have been made to incorporate most of the species available in India & nearby areas with details & keys directly or through links as far as possible. It’s quite possible that there may be some discrepancy in the accepted names & synonyms taken from other links.

Species discussed so far in efloraofindia are given at the bottom of the page in the form of links against Subpages. On clicking them one can see all the details.

If someone can provide complete list of Indian species with source references it will be wonderful.

Any comments/ corrections are welcome.

I have compiled and added the list.

The Plant List Ver. 1.1, says Malva cavanillesiana Raizada is an unresolved name, but as per IPNI, Malva cavanillesiana Raizada is given with Notes: Malva sinensis Cav
As per FOC, Malva sinensis Cavanilles is a syn. of Malva cathayensis M. G. Gilbert, Y. Tang & Dorr, Fl. China. 12: 266. 2007.
Also as per global species website, Malva sinensis is a syn. of Malva cathayensis. Wikipedia also supports the same. 
In view, I feel Malva sinensis is a syn. of Malva cathayensis.

We may require intervention of … What I understand is that the species was described in 1786 as M. sinensis which is a later homonym (repeat name) of Malva chinensis Mill. described in 1768 (sinensis and chinensis are considered as similar). Obviously M. sinensis is illegitimate name and require a new name. This new name was given by Raizada (as M.cavanillesiana) in 1976 in the book “Supplement to Duthie’s Flora of the Upper Gangetic Plain and of the Adjacent Siwalik and Sub-Himalayan Tract”. Probably not knowing this, FoC also proposed new name M. cathayensis M.G.Gilbert et al. but in 2007. The ICN (International Code of Nomenclature of Algae, Fungi and Plants) writes that the earlier name has the priority while selecting correct name. Raizada gave the name earlier so it (Malva cavanillesiana) must be taken as the correct name.
Accordingly, in the list of species in eFI M.cathayensis should be removed or mentioned as synonym of M. cavanillesiana Raizada.

Pl. go through Malva (‎‎‎Malvaceae) page with images of species in efloraofindia.

If you find any incorrect identification, pl. let us know. If anybody can send images of other species of this genera (for incorporation in the website), if any, or can identify unidentified images, it will be really nice.

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