Althaea ficifolia (L.) Cav.; Althaea rosea (L.) Cav. Notes (Hollyhock):
Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt, or is there any taste in the slime of the purslane?
As Zohary notes, biblical scholars suggest both Alcea and Malva as the best candidates for the Hebrew halamuth. Both genera are common Israeli herbs, in early winter, used as edible potherbs. In toto, Zohary argues stronger for Malva than Alcea, and who knows, so many thousands years later, what was meant by these non-botanists of days gone by. Zohary's picture leads me to believe that he is talking about the same hollyhock that keeps coming up back by my greenhouse, which once was called Althea rosea. Anthropologist Jane Philips says it is one of the most widely used folk cures, both in Lebanon and America (BIB). It is in Zohary's book that I first saw "the slime of the purslane" (ZOH), and I have personally seen what I call purslane (Portulaca oleracea) on the streets of Tel Aviv.
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