T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Modiola caroliniana (Red flowered mallow)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Modiola
Species: M. caroliniana
Binomial name: Modiola caroliniana
Synonyms: Abutilodes carolinianum, Anoda strictiflora, Malva caroliniana, Malva decumbens, Malva eriocarpa, Malva prostrata, Malva urticifolia, Modanthos caroliniana, Modanthos decumbens, Modanthos eriocarpa, Modanthos prostrata, Modanthos reptans, Modanthos urticifolia, Modiola caroliniana var. brevipes, Modiola decumbens, Modiola erecta, Modiola eriocarpa, Modiola fissistipula, Modiola jaeggiana,, Modiola multifida, Modiola prostrata, Modiola reptans, Modiola urticifolia, Modiolastrum jaeggianum.
Common names: Red flowered mallow, Carolina mallow, Carolina bristle mallow, Bristle mallow, Creeping mallow, Wheel mallow, Ground ivy.

Modiola is a monotypic genus of plants in the mallow family containing the single species Modiola caroliniana.
Modiola caroliniana is an annual prostrate herb native to tropical America and warm temperate North America. It is now widely naturalised throughout the tropical and warmer temperate areas of the world including New Zealand.

It is a weed of grasslands, disturbed natural vegetation, waste places, wet soil of watercourses and irrigated land. It has prostrate, hairy stems, which root at the nodes, from which arise upright flowering stems. It grows >25cm in height.
It flowers in late spring and summer. The flowers are borne solitary or rarely in pairs in the leaf axils, on pedicels 2-4cm in length. The pedicle and the five sepals which are fused at the base are covered hairs. The stems are prostrate, hairy and can root at the nodes.
The leaves are ovate to broad-ovate alternate and are 3-4cm long and 2-3cm wide. They are reniform (kidney-shaped), round or triangular in shape with 3 to 7 toothed lobes.
Modiola caroliniana is easily distinguished from other members of this family by the red to orange petals and leaves that have toothed lobes.
The flowers which are usually solitary have 5 petals and are borne on peduncles (stalks) in the leaf axils.
The fruit is a wheel-shaped schizocarp, 7-9 mm in diameter which splits at maturity into 16-22 two-seeded segments (each segment is called a mericarp).





The top side of a leaf.


The underside of a leaf