[Heb., ʼo·rothʹ or ʼoh·rothʹ].
The dwarf mallow is a creeping plant having nearly round, somewhat lobed, saw-edged leaves with long leafstalks. Its flowers are over 1 cm (0.5 in.) across and vary in color from pale blue to white. The flat and circular mucilaginous fruits are commonly called cheeses.
“Mallows” translates the Hebrew word ʼo·rothʹ (2Ki 4:39; Isa 26:19), considered to be the plural of ʼoh·rahʹ, “light.” (Es 8:16; Ps 139:12) According to L. Koehler and W. Baumgartner’s Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros (Leiden, 1958, p. 90), ʼo·rothʹ denotes the dwarf mallow (Malva rotundifolia). This identification is based on the fact that this plant is very sensitive to light, hence perhaps the Hebrew designation meaning “light-[herbs].” Also, its fruit is edible, thus harmonizing with 2 Kings 4:39.—PICTURE, Vol. 1, p. 543.