Althaea officinalis (name means "to cure," in allusion to supposed healing properties). - Family, Mallow. Color, pale rose Sepals, 5, united at base. Outside of these are 6 to 9 long, narrow, green bractlets. Corolla, of 5 petals about 1 inch across. Stamens, many, united at base, making a column or ring around the pistils, the anthers separate above. Styles, projecting beyond the anthers, as many as the divisions of the ovary, stigmatic along their inner sides. Flowers, in axils and terminal, racemose. Leaves, alternate, broad, generally 3-lobed, deeply toothed, ovate or heart-shaped at base, palmately veined, covered with velvety down. Stem, erect, 2 to 4 feet high, bushy, leafy.
Salt marshes on the coast of New England and New York southward. The root, full of mucilage, is used by confectioners for the favorite marsh mallows, also somewhat in medicine.