|White Angel resembles marshmellows|
Marshmellows are one of the earliest confections known to man and were originally made from the root sap of the Marsh Mallow (Althea officinalis) plant and used medicinally. The scientific genus name indicates the distinctive flower structure shared by plants in the Mallow Family, Malvaceae, and there are a lot of them. White Angel Althea, Hibiscus syriacus, is also in this plant family and is a close relative of the Marsh Mallow, sharing the same type of flower.
|Modern day Marshmellows|
The species name of Marsh Mallow, officinalis, indicates that this Mallow is an “official” member of the medieval list of medicinal plants, known as Hortus Medicus. From olden times, Marsh Mallows have been dug up and a mucilaginous tea brewed from the roots to soothe sore throats. Later, the moist and sticky root sap became the origin of the confection we know today as the fun food, marshmellows. Food historians might like to learn more.
|Photo from Not Without Salt Blog|
Or DIY and make Ashley Rodriguez’ own version of the American fun food. Use Hibiscus “Juice” made from dried Hibiscus flowers, purchased as Jamaica Flowers or Roselle at the Mexican grocery, in order to make the marshmellows pink. Find the step-by-step directions at her Not Without Salt blog.
Although White Angel Althea flowers do look like dreamy white marshmellows floating in the garden, and though they are relatives and their flowers are similar to the Marsh Mallow, they are not to be eaten. The Marsh Mallow is herbaceous and easy to dig up when sacrificing the plant to obtain the roots for a recipe. But new White Angel Althea is a woody landscape shrub from Garden Debut® that is not eaten, nor would you want to deprive your landscape of this lovely flowering shrub. Right?