It is marshmallow season in PA. They are ripe and ready. There are several species differentiated by shape, color and texture. This is the eastern orb marshmallow. It is pure white and round with a firm texture. The western orb marshmallow is much softer.

The eastern orb is found mostly shaded woods and does well in rocky soils. They were common when colonizer first came to this area but are slow growing and were wiped out by overharvesting and deforestation. They since been replaced by store bought imitation marshmallows. The kind most of us are familiar with

They were thought to be extinct but have made a modest rebound. Horticulturalists have learned to cultivate them and they are beginning to show up in people’s gardens.

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