Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

MOLLUGINACEAE

CARPET-WEED FAMILY

Wayne R. Ferren, Jr.

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, glabrous or hairy
Stem prostrate to erect
Leaves simple, generally basal and cauline, alternate, opposite, or whorled, rarely fleshy; stipules 0, conspicuous, or small and deciduous
Inflorescence: cyme, cluster, or flower solitary, axillary
Flower generally bisexual, small, radial; calyx persistent, sepals 4–5, generally free; corolla 0 or small; stamens 5–10, sometimes petal-like, attached to hypanthium, filaments free or fused at base; nectary a ring; ovary superior, chambers 1–10, placentas generally axile, styles 1 or 3–5, generally free
Fruit: generally capsule, generally loculicidal
Seeds 1 or more per chamber, sometimes with arils
Genera in family: 14 genera, 95 species: generally tropical, subtropical, especially Africa.

MOLLUGO

CARPET-WEED, INDIAN CHICKWEED

Annual, perennial herb, glabrous to puberulent
Stem prostrate to ascending, slender; branches many
Leaves generally whorled, linear to oblanceolate; stipules 0
Inflorescence: umbel, cluster, or flower solitary; pedicel slender
Flower: sepals 5, ± petal-like, persistent, midrib generally green, margins white-scarious; petals 0; stamens 3, alternate ovary chambers or 5, alternate sepals (rarely 10); ovary ± ovate, chambers 3–5, styles 3–5, linear
Fruit thin, included in calyx
Seeds many, reniform, smooth, ridged, or tubercled, red-brown; aril short
Species in genus: 20 species: tropical, subtropical
Etymology: (Greek: soft plant)

Introduced

M. verticillata L.

Annual, mat-forming, < 50 cm diam, glabrous
Stem prostrate, forked unequally
Leaves in whorls of 3–6, < 40 mm, 1–8 mm wide, unequal; blade ± oblanceolate
Inflorescence: sessile cluster (peduncle 0); flowers 1–5; pedicel 5–15 mm, slender
Flower: sepals 5, 1.5–2.5 mm, oblong; stamens 3–5, 3 mm, alternate ovary chambers; stigmas 3, ± sessile
Fruit ovoid, ± > sepals
Seed 0.6 mm, ± smooth, generally with several ridges, dark reddish brown, shiny
Chromosomes: 2n=64
Ecology: Common. Moist, exposed, disturbed wetland margins, roadsides, fields
Elevation: < 1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province, East of Sierra Nevada
Distribution outside California: N.America; native to tropical America
Flowering time: May–Nov

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