Malva linnaei M.F. Ray
Lavatera cretica L.
Native to northern Africa (i.e. Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia), the Azores, the Madeira Islands, the Canary Islands, southern Europe (i.e. France, Portugal, Spain, Albania, Greece, Italy and Yugoslavia) and western Asia (i.e. Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey).
Widely naturalised in the coastal districts of southern Australia (i.e. near Sydney in central New South Wales, in southern Victoria, in Tasmania, in southern South Australia and in south-western Western Australia).
Also naturalised in south-western USA (i.e. California) and New Zealand.
Cretan mallow (Malva linnaei) is regarded as a minor environmental weed in Western Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. This species has escaped cultivation and become a weed of coastal areas in the temperate regions of Australia.
It is probably most common in Western Australia, where it is mainly found on beaches and offshore islands between Shark Bay and Busselton (e.g. at Toby Inlet and Associated Wetlands at Busselton). It also grows in along roadsides, in waste areas, and in undisturbed natural vegetation (e.g. grasslands, open woodlands and riparian areas) near the coast.
Cretan mallow (Malva linnaei) is not regarded as a serious problem in other parts of Australia. However, it has been reported from waste places and roadsides in South Australia, from King Island and other mainland areas in Tasmania, and from disturbed sites in the inner western suburbs of Sydney in New South Wales. In Victoria, Cretan mallow (Malva linnaei) has been recorded in remnant natural vegetation in Boroondara City in suburban Melbourne, from marine and wildlife reserves in the Swan Bay area, and in the Gippsland Plain bioregion.