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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 6 | Malvaceae | Modiola

1. Modiola caroliniana (Linnaeus) G. Don, Gen. Hist. 1: 466. 1831.
[F I W]

Carolina bristlemallow Carolina bristlemallow

Malva caroliniana Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 688. 1753; Modiola prostrata (Cavanilles) A. St.-Hilaire; M. reptans A. St.-Hilaire; M. urticifolia (Kunth) G. Don

Stems: flowering apices often ascending, branched, usually 0.2–0.5 m, often rooting at nodes. Leaves: stipules 3–4 × 1.5–3 mm; petiole length 1–2 times blade; blade 1.5–4 × 1.5–4 cm. Pedicels usually shorter than subtending petioles, hairy; involucellar bractlets lanceolate, 4–5 mm. Flowers: calyx 5–7 mm, hairy, hairs simple, 1–2 mm; corolla erect, 6–8 mm; staminal column yellowish; anthers crowded at apex; stigmas equaling number of locules. Mericarps drying black, 5–6 mm, apical spines 1.5–3 mm. Seeds 1.5 mm. 2n = 18.

Flowering Mar–Nov. Disturbed, usually moist habitats, shores of ponds and reservoirs, low sandy areas, lawns, roadsides; 0–400 m; introduced; Ala., Ariz., Ark., Calif., Del., Fla., Ga., Ky., La., Mass., Miss., N.C., Okla., Oreg., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va.; South America; introduced also in Mexico; Central America, Pacific Islands (Hawaii).

Modiola caroliniana is somewhat weedy but not a serious agricultural weed. It has been reported in Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania as a waif but doubtfully persists that far north. It is well established in the southeastern United States and is rather common as a lawn weed in some locations and as a garden weed in California. It probably came from southern South America in wool or cotton. Its closest relative, Modiolastrum K. Schumann, is known from southern South America.


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