Native to Europe and Western Asia, this tall perennial was once an old garden favourite, kept for its beautiful flowers and medicinal qualities.
In summer, the pale lilac / white flowers travel up the stems, creating a beautiful show and helping to attract beneficial insects into the garden.
The flowers and leaves are edible and can be boiled, fried or added to salads.
The plant has a long thick tap root that is edible. The root was once used as a medical confection, used for treating coughs and sore throats. French confectioners later mixed rose water and meringue, creating the sugar-based treat known today as marshmallow (without the health benefits).
The plant enjoys moist, free draining soil in a full sun position.