Stoneflowers, Marmorafloris vitreo mollis
I called this marble blossom Marmorafloris vitreo mollis.
The "Ma" stands for two things.
On the one hand for the marble from which the flower is made, and on the other hand for mallow, the flower that inspired me to make the sculpture.
The mallow, in its cultivated form we also refer to as hollyhock, is an indispensable part of the alpine country's farm gardens. Every summer it delights us with its bloom.
However, the mallow is also a wild plant, of which various types, up to thirty of them grow naturally in Eurasia and North Africa.
The musk mallow is common in Europe.
It colonizes nutrient-rich, not too dry, but also not too moist soils in herbaceous and perennial weed areas, as well as fresh meadows that are not mowed before the flowering phase.
It grows preferentially in a lot of direct light.
The mallow in the kitchen and in medicine
The leaves of the mallow contain vitamin C, the flowers tannin. Octacosan, alkaloid and saponin have been found in the plant, it has a certain content of antioxidants.
In the kitchen, young leaves of the mallow are suitable as a salad substitute, or cooked as vegetables or for thickening soups, as the leaves get a slimy consistency when cooked.
The unripe seeds can also be used raw as a snack or cooked, they should have a nutty taste (though I have to admit I've never tried them myself).
The fruits taste similar to cheese and were made into flour in times of need. The root stock can be used as a protein substitute.
In Pakistan the plant is said to be used for a dish called 'panerak', about which I have not found any further information anywhere. For friends of oriental cuisine there would surely be a wide field for research.
Due to their aroma, some types of mallow are mainly used in industry for cosmetic articles or as mallow tea. Wild mallow leaf tea is also a cure for irritable cough.
If you want to you can take a little quiz and find out what my Latin name for this stoneflower means.