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Marshmallow

Althaea officinalis

When Jefferson noted "marshmellow" in his 1794 list of "Objects for the garden this year," he was referring to Althaea officinalis. The genus name, "Althaea," is derived from the Greek, "altho," to cure. Leaves, flowers, and roots were used to reduce inflammations and to ease coughs and sore throats. The boiled root produces a white, gummy matter that was used internally as a demulcent, and externally on bruises and sprains. French confectioners once sweetened this starchy substance to make a paste used in sweets and desserts.

Growth Type: 
Perennial
Color(s): 
White
Hardiness Zones: 
Zone 1, Zone 2, Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9, Zone 10
Location at Monticello: 
Vegetable Garden
Planting Conditions: 
Full Sun
Blooming History: 
2001 May 31 to 2001 Oct 192002 Jun 14 to 2002 Aug 22003 Jun 20 to 2003 Aug 22004 Jun 16 to 2004 Jul 292005 Aug 9 to 2005 Oct 252006 Jun 16 to 2006 Aug 72006 Sep 15 to 2006 Oct 112007 Jun 14 to 2007 Aug 142008 Jul 11 to 2008 Aug 82009 Jun 19 to 2009 Aug 152010 Jun 28 to 2010 Aug 242011 Jul 7 to 2011 Sep 92012 Jun 4 to 2012 Sep 252013 Jun 10 to 2013 Jul 24
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