Mal a COI des meaning soft, mucilaginous, resembling a mallow; refers to the softness of the leaves
Used as a specific name, malacoides is part of the botanical name for two relatively common plants and some other obscure ones.
The first is fairy primrose, Primula malacoides, an everygreen perennial native to China. The soft pale green leaves form a rosette eight to sixteen inch high and twelve inches wide. Each leaf is 1.5 to three inches long, lobed, hairy, and has a scalloped edge. The flowers are carried in clusters of twenty to thirty on slender stems and are pink, white, or red flowers. The bloom season lasts from mid winter to spring.
Another plant, Mediterranean stork’s bill (Erodium malacoides), is an annual or biennial weed native to Eurasia and North Africa but now wide spread. The green leaves are ruffled and grow flat againt the soil. The central stem is knobby and grows uup to 36 inches high. The flowers have five lavender to magenta petals and soft hairy spine-tipped sepals.