Abstract Screening hyperaccumulators and accumulators is a key step in the phytoremediation of soils contaminated by heavy metals. A pot experiment was conducted involving a soil Cd concentration gradient (0, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175, and 200 mg kg −1) to determine if Malva sinensis Cavan. from two lead–zinc mines in Kangding and Yajiang in western Sichuan, China, is a Cd-hyperaccumulator. The highest Cd concentrations in plant shoots from Kangding and Yajiang were 154.30 and 122.77 mg kg −1, respectively, at a soil Cd concentration of 200 mg kg −1. The largest amounts of accumulation in plant shoots from Kangding and Yajiang were 700.5 and 1403.2 μg pot −1, respectively. The bioconcentration factors in shoots were 0.53–1.03 for Kangding and 0.69–1.25 for Yajiang. Moreover, all translocation factors of plants from the two sites were over 1.0. Therefore, M. sinensis can be classified as a Cd-accumulator or non-standard Cd-hyperaccumulator.