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Vascular Plants of California
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Modiola caroliniana

Higher Taxonomy
Family: MalvaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to tree; generally with stellate hairs, often with bristles or peltate scales; juice generally mucilage-like; bark fibrous. Leaf: generally cauline, alternate, petioled, simple [palmate-compound], generally palmate-lobed and/or veined, generally toothed, evergreen or not; stipules persistent or not. Inflorescence: head, spike, raceme, or panicle, in panicle or not (a compound panicle), or flowers >= 1 in leaf axils, or flowers generally 1 opposite a leaf or on a spur; bracts leaf-like or not; bractlets 0 or on flowering stalks, often closely subtending calyx, generally in involucel. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; sepals 5, generally fused at base, abutting in bud, larger in fruit or not, nectaries as tufts of glandular hairs at base; petals (0)5, free from each other but generally fused at base to, falling with filament tube, clawed or not; stamens 5--many, filaments fused for most of length into tube around style, staminodes 5, alternate stamens, or generally 0; pistil 1, ovary superior, stalked or generally not, chambers generally >= 5, styles or style branches, stigmas generally 1 or 1--2 × chamber number. Fruit: loculicidal capsule, [berry], or 5--many, disk- or wedge-shaped segments (= mericarps).
Genera In Family: 266 genera, 4025 species: worldwide, especially warm regions; some cultivated (e.g., Abelmoschus okra; Alcea hollyhock; Gossypium cotton; Hibiscus hibiscus). Note: Recently treated to include Bombacaceae, Sterculiaceae, Tiliaceae. Mature fruit needed for identification; "outer edges" are surfaces between sides and back (abaxial surface) of segment. "Flower stalk" used instead of "pedicel," "peduncle," especially where both needed (i.e., when flowers both 1 in leaf axils and otherwise).
eFlora Treatment Author: Steven R. Hill, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Steven R. Hill, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: ModiolaView Description 

Etymology: (Latin: modiolus, hub of a wheel, for fruit)
eFlora Treatment Author: Steven R. Hill
Modiola caroliniana (L.) G. Don
Habit: (Annual) perennial herb, sparsely stellate-hairy except fruit, calyx. Stem: prostrate to decumbent or creeping, 1.5--5 dm, rooting near base, nodes. Leaf: stipules 3--5 mm, lanceolate, green, persistent; blade (2)5--8 cm, 2--5 cm wide, generally <= petiole, reniform, round, or triangular, especially upper deeply toothed to (3)5--7-lobed, lobes +- lobed or toothed. Inflorescence: flowers 1 in leaf axils; flowering stalks 5--25 mm; bractlets 3, free, generally narrowly lanceolate. Flower: calyx 5--6 mm, +- larger in fruit, divided +- 1/2, generally sparsely bristly, hairs 1--2 mm; petals 3--8 mm, generally > calyx, red-orange, base generally dark; anthers at stamen-tube tip; styles 15--25, stigmas head-like. Fruit: segments 15--25, 5--6 mm, reniform, black, bristly on top, chambers 2, lower wrinkly-sided, indehiscent, upper smooth-sided, dehiscent, beaks 2, 1.5--3 mm. Seed: 2, +- 1.5 mm, glabrous to minutely puberulent. Chromosomes: 2n=18.
Ecology: Grassland, disturbed areas; Elevation: generally < 400 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP; Distribution Outside California: to southeastern United States; probably native to southern South America; widely naturalized. Flowering Time: Mar--Nov Note: Agricultural, lawn weed; tolerant of salt, drought, may accumulate nitrates, then TOXIC to some livestock.
Jepson eFlora Author: Steven R. Hill
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Modiola caroliniana

botanical illustration including Modiola caroliniana

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Citation for this treatment: Steven R. Hill 2012, Modiola caroliniana, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 19, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 19, 2024.

Modiola caroliniana
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©2023 Neal Kramer

More photos of Modiola caroliniana
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Modiola caroliniana:
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).