Herb: Poppy Mallow

Latin name: Callirhoe involucrata

Synonyms: Callirhoe lineariloba, Malva involucrata

Family: Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Medicinal use of Poppy Mallow:

A decoction of the root is used to treat internal pain. The root was also dried, then burnt and the smoke either inhaled or allowed to bathe the affected part of the body.

Description of the plant:


15 cm
(6 inches)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Grows in dry soils on the plains. Sandy, eroding dry ground and roadsides in Texas.

Edible parts of Poppy Mallow:

Root - cooked. The root is long and tapering, it is sweet and starchy with a pleasant taste somewhat like that of a sweet potato. Leaves - cooked. A pleasant flavour with a mucilaginous texture, they are good for thickening soups.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow outdoors or in a cold frame. Plants resent root disturbance so the seed is best sown in situ in April, though the slugs will have a field day if you do not protect the plants. If seed is in short supply then sow it in pots in a cold frame, putting a few seeds in each pot, and plant the pots out in early summer once the plants have put on at least 15cm of growth. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 6 months at 15C. Cuttings of young basal shoots in a frame in sand. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer. Division. With care since the plant resents root disturbance. We have found that it is best not to disturb this plant and so do not try to divide it, relying instead on taking basal cuttings since these do not disturb the main clump.

Cultivation of Poppy Mallow:

Grows in dry soils on the plains. Sandy, eroding dry ground and roadsides in Texas.

Known hazards of Callirhoe involucrata:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.