Malva pseudolavatera Webb et Berthelot (syn.: M. linnaei F. Ray, M. multiflora (Cav.) Soldano, Banfi et Galasso, Lavatera cretica L.) (Medit., Macaronesia, W-Eur.) – A rare and ephemeral alien but possibly insufficiently known and overlooked. First recorded in 1997 in the port of Gent and subsequently in the port of Roeselare, Antwerpen (Merksem), Leuven and Zeebrugge. Sometimes persisting for a while, for instance on an unloading quay at the Albertkanaal in Merksem since 2007 (confirmed in abundance in 2014). Most records are associated with grain importation. Malva pseudolavatera usually grows on unloading quays, grain dumps and other man-made habitats in the vicinity of grain mills.
Malva pseudolavatera much resembles native M. sylvestris and might therefore pass unrecorded. The fusion or non-fusion of the epicalyx segments is a critical identification feature (see before). In fact, both are often hardly distinguishable: Malva pseudolavatera is usually annual-biennial (vs. biennial-perennial), petals are usually slightly smaller (10-20 mm vs. 12-30 mm), epicalyx segments broader, hairs on peduncles predominantly stellate (vs. simple patent hairs) and mericarps with more rounded angles (vs. sharp angles).
Hinsley S.R. (2010) Names in Malva. BSBI News 115: 51.