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mallow

mallow, common name for members of the Malvaceae, a family of herbs and shrubs distributed over most of the world and especially abundant in the American tropics. Tropical species sometimes grow as small trees. The family is characterized by often mucilaginous sap and by showy, five-part flowers with a prominent column of fused stamens. The true mallows (genus Malva) are native to north temperate regions of the Old World, although many species have escaped from cultivation and become naturalized in the United States. North American species, sometimes cultivated and most common in the South and West, include the false mallows (genus Malvastrum) and the rose, or swamp, mallows (genus Hibiscus) found in marshy areas across the country. Introduced species of hibiscus include the rose of Sharon, or shrubby althea (H. syriacus), a popular ornamental bush or small tree native to Asia, and okra, or gumbo (H. esculentus), native to Africa, whose mucilaginous pods are used as a vegetable and in soups and stews. Alothea is an Old World genus. The hollyhock (A. rosea), the most popular ornamental of the family, is a Chinese perennial now widely naturalized and cultivated as a biennial or annual in many varieties of diverse colors. A. officinalis is the marsh mallow, a name sometimes used also for the larger-blossomed rose mallows. The root of the true marsh mallow, a native of Europe, has been used medicinally. It was formerly used for the confection marshmallow, which is now usually made from syrup, gelatin, and other ingredients. The tropical and subtropical flowering maple genus Abutilon, named for the maplelike foliage of some species, includes several house and bedding ornamentals. Some Asian species yield a fiber known as China jute—e.g., the velvetweed (A. theophrasti), called also Indian mallow and velvetleaf for the texture of its foliage. This plant, introduced to the United States as an ornamental, has become a noxious weed. Economically, the most important plant in the family is cotton (genus Gossypium), with species native to both the Old and New World and cultivated independently in both areas from early times. The mallow family is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Malvales.

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mallow

mallow Annual and perennial plants occurring in tropical and temperate regions of the world. The flowers are pink and white. The mallow family includes more than 900 species of plants, of which cotton, okra, hollyhock and hibiscus are among the best known. Family Malvaceae; especially genus Malva.

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mallow

mal·low / ˈmalō/ • n. a herbaceous plant (genus Malva) with pink or purple flowers and disk-shaped fruit. The mallow family (Malvaceae) also includes the hollyhocks, hibiscus, and abutilon. See also marsh mallow, rose mallow.

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mallow

mallow plant of genus Malva. OE. mealuwe, -(e)we — L. malva, rel. to Gr. malákhē, molókhē, and prob. of Mediterranean orig.

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mallow

mallow See MALVACEAE.

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mallow

mallowaloe, callow, fallow, hallow, mallow, marshmallow, sallow, shallow, tallow •Pablo, tableau •cashflow • Anglo • matelot •Carlo, Harlow, Marlowe •Bargello, bellow, bordello, cello, Donatello, fellow, jello, martello, mellow, morello, niello, Novello, Pirandello, Portobello, Punchinello, Uccello, violoncello, yellow •pueblo • bedfellow • playfellow •Oddfellow • Longfellow •schoolfellow • Robin Goodfellow •airflow • halo • Day-Glo •filo, kilo •armadillo, billow, cigarillo, Murillo, Negrillo, peccadillo, pillow, tamarillo, Utrillo, willow •inflow • Wicklow • furbelow • Angelo •pomelo • uniflow •kyloe, lilo, milo, silo •Apollo, follow, hollow, Rollo, swallow, wallow •Oslo • São Paulo • outflow •bolo, criollo, polo, solo, tombolo •rouleau • regulo • modulo • mudflow •diabolo • bibelot • pedalo • underflow •buffalo •brigalow, gigolo •bungalow •Michelangelo, tangelo •piccolo • tremolo • alpenglow • tupelo •contraflow • afterglow • overflow •furlough • workflow

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Mallow

MALLOW

MALLOW , plant of the genus Malva. Six species are found in Israel, the most common, found in almost every part of the country, being the Malva nicaensis, Malva silvestris, and Malva parviflora. During the siege of Jerusalem in 1948 the citizens of Jerusalem picked them and prepared from them a variety of dishes. The mallow is popularly known by its Arabic name khubeiza which means "small loaf," because its edible seeds are flat and round like Arab bread (pittah). Job characterizes "the juice of ḥallamut" ("mallow") as insipid, so that even in his distress "my soul refuses to touch them; they are as the sickness of my flesh" (Job 6:6). Despite this, the name ḥallamut or ḥelmit in the Mishnah appears to be connected with halam meaning "healthy." It may be, however, the same as laḥmit, through transposition of letters, which has the same connotation as its Arabic name "small bread." The Mishnah refers to ḥelmit as a vegetable (Kil. 1:8) and the Arukh of Nathan b. Jehiel identifies it with Malva (mallow). The leaves of some mallows are sensitive to light, and Rashi in his commentary on the vegetable adani (Shab. 35b) notes: "It is a vegetable called malva whose leaves turn to the sun. In the morning they incline eastward, at midday they are upright, and in the evening they incline westward." The identification of the ḥallamut of the Bible with mallow is not certain, and it has been identified with many other plants. The jps renders ḥallamut as "mallow" (av: "white of egg"), while the av renders malu'aḥ in Job 30:4 as "mallow" (jps correctly as "saltwort"; see *Orach).

bibliography:

Loew, Flora, 1 (1928), 292–4; N.H. Tur-Sinai, Sefer Iyyov, 1 (1941), 85f.; H.N. and A.L. Moldenke, Plants of the Bible (1952), 53f.; J. Feliks, Olam ha-Ẓome'aḥ ha-Mikra'i (19682), 188–90. add. bibliography: Feliks, Ha-Tzome'aḥ, 63.

[Jehuda Feliks]

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