As to the taste, Grigson describes them as crisp and slimy… not unlike monkey-nuts’. Ours, out of last year’s seed packet, taste like wood shavings, but I will have another go with fresh ones this autumn. Bibor Felho’ is a named form of a variety of Malva sylvestris, M. s. mauritiana, whose dis- tinguishing features are its size (in good garden soil, in full sun, it can grow over six feet tall and four feet wide in a matter of months), the wavy undulations on its leaves, the large number of overlapping, heart-shaped petals, and the intense magenta colouring of its petals, set against rich, royal-purple veining. DINING ROOM MOLDING IDEAS This veining is a feature of all forms of Malva sylvestris and was not designed to attract our appreciative oohs and ahs, but as a nectar guide for visiting bees. The Romans beat us to it with designer salads strewn with mallow petals, and according to my Suffolk Herbs seed catalogue the leaves of Malva sylvestris are eaten in Arab countries. As M. s. mauritiana and Bibor Felho’ get molested by hollyhock rust in our garden, they shall not go on the menu. The rust forms orange-brown pustules on the undersides of the leaves and in extreme, and oh-so-frequent, cases the leaves just wither and die, leaving the plant in full flower but naked.
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