Marshmallow (Althea officinalis) is a gorgeous perennial flowering medicinal plant. It stands 3 to 4 feet high with soft hairy leaves that are deeply cut in 3 divisions, similar in shape to a maple leaf. The flowers bloom along upper stalks and have 5 heart shaped petals, usually white to pink and sometimes blueish. Althea blooms in late summer and attracts various pollinators.
The Flowers, leaves and root are edible and medicinal. The roots themselves contain more than 30% mucilage which is very soothing to mucus membranes as well as the digestive tract. The leaves and flowers make great poultices to soothe skin irritations, bruises and cuts as well. A tea of the leaves and flowers are also very helpful for bronchitis, colds and a persistent cough. The leaves can also be added to salads in the beginning of their growing season.