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Malva arborea (L.) Webb. & Berthel.
Tree Mallow

Hist.Nat.Iles Canaries (Phytogr.) 1:30 (1836)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status


IBRA Regions
Avon Wheatbelt, Esperance Plains, Jarrah Forest, Mallee, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.
IBRA Subregions
Fitzgerald, Katanning, Perth, Recherche, Southern Jarrah Forest, Warren, Western Mallee.
IMCRA Regions
Leeuwin-Naturaliste, WA South Coast.
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Albany, Bunbury, Cockburn, Esperance, Gnowangerup, Lake Grace, Mandurah, Manjimup, Narrogin, Nedlands, Ravensthorpe, Rockingham.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

Alternative Names. European Tree Mallow.

General Biology. Growth form. Herb. Life form. Perennial. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Birds (through adhesion and ingestion), wind. Seedbank persistence. Long term, 5+ years.

Notes. A perennial or biennial species. Is invading seabird nesting habitats and replacing the native Malva priessiana on islands off the coast of Perth, South Australia and Victoria. Grows in tall dense clumps capable of outcompeting native perennial species. Stands have no understorey and die back in summer exposing the soil to erosion by strong sea breezes, increasing vulnerability to invasion by annual weeds, potentially making habitat less suitable to nesting bird colonies. Occasionally hybridises with M. priessiana (formerly M. australiana).

Additional information. Origin. Europe. Similar exotic species. Malva parviflora, M. multiflora. Similar native species. M. priessiana.

Suggested method of management and control. Cut to ground and paint stump with 15% glyphosate. Avoid hand removal of mature plants as this causes soil disturbance. Hand remove or carefully spot spray seedlings with glyphosate at 2-3 leaf stage. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Active Growth O O O O O Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
Germination           U U U          
Flowering               Y Y Y Y Y  
Fruiting                   Y Y Y  
Manual Removal           O Y Y O       Mannualy remove seedlings only
Herbicide Treatment           Y Y Y Y O      

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



  • Abbott, I., Marchant, N. & Cranfield, R. (2000) Long-term change in the floristic composition and vegetation structure of Carnac Island, Western Australia. Journal of Biogeography, 27: 333-346.
  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. & Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. 2nd Edition. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park.
  • Rippey, E. (2004) Malva dendromorpha/Malva australiana hybrid. Western Australian Naturalist, 24.
  • Rippey, E., Hislop, M.C. & Dodd, J. (2003) Re-assessment of the vascular flora of Rottnest Islands. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, 86: 7-23.
  • Rippey, E., Rippey, J.J. & Dunlop, N. (2002) Management of indigenous and alien Malvaceae on Islands near Perth, Western Australia. In Proceedings of the international conference on eradication of island invasives; Occasional Paper of the IUCN Species Survival Commission No. 27. eds.Veitch, C. R. and Clout, M.N.