(Althaea officinalis): Herbaceous perennial native to Europe, flowering to 4 feet tall. Delicious edible root; the leaf, root, and flowers are also used by herbalists to support the mucus membranes of the respiratory and digestive system. Marshmallow prefers moist garden soil in the full sun or part shade. The plant likes moister soils and regular watering and makes a lot of biomass, both above the ground and below. Sow in spring by scarifying seed on medium grit sandpaper, strewing on surface, barely covering with soil, tamping securely, and keeping evenly moist and warm until germination, which occurs in 1 to 2 weeks. Work seedlings up in pots or sow directly in garden. Thin or transplant to 2 feet apart. Hardy to Zones 3 to 7. Packets are 1/3 gram and contain ~ 100 seeds.