Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Mollugo cerviana

Higher Taxonomy
Family: MolluginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual [perennial herb, shrub], glabrous or hairy. Stem: prostrate to erect. Leaf: simple, generally basal and cauline, alternate, opposite, or whorled, entire, (fleshy), petioled [not]; stipules 0 or small, deciduous. Inflorescence: axillary or terminal cyme [umbel] or flowers 1; flowers pedicelled or not. Flower: generally bisexual, small, radial; sepals 4--5, free or fused, persistent; corolla 0 or small (= staminodes); stamens 2--25, free or fused basally, on hypanthium, alternate sepals, petal-like or not; nectary a ring; ovary superior, chambers [1]3--5[10], placentas generally axile, styles [0]1 or 3--5, generally free. Fruit: 3--5-valved capsule [achene]. Seed: 1 or more per chamber, reniform to lenticular, arilled or not.
Genera In Family: 14 genera, 125 species: generally tropics, subtropics, especially Africa.
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael A. Vincent & Wayne R. Ferren, Jr.
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: MollugoView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: CARPET-WEED
Habit: Annual [perennial herb], glabrous. Stem: prostrate to erect, slender, branched from base. Leaf: generally whorled, linear to oblanceolate; stipules +- 0. Inflorescence: axillary, terminal, cyme, umbel [flowers 1]; pedicel 3--30 mm. Flower: sepals 5, free, margins +- scarious; petals 0; stamens 3--5, fused basally; styles 3--5, linear. Fruit: 3-valved, included in calyx. Seed: many, reniform, smooth, ridged, or finely net-sculptured; aril 0.
Etymology: (Greek: soft or pliant) Note: Worldwide revision of genus needed.
Mollugo cerviana (L.) Ser.
Habit: Annual, glabrous, glaucous. Stem: 3--20 cm. Leaf: in whorls of 4--10[12], 3--15 mm. Inflorescence: flowers 3--4. Flower: sepals 1--1.5 mm, elliptic to ovate; stamens 1 mm; stigmas 3, sessile. Fruit: +- spheric. Seed: brown. Chromosomes: 2n=18.
Ecology: Uncommon. Seasonal pools, sandy washes, flats, slopes; Elevation: < 1700 m. Bioregional Distribution: SnJt, D; Distribution Outside California: to Texas, Mexico, tropics; native to Old World. Flowering Time: Sep--Mar
Jepson eFlora Author: Michael A. Vincent & Wayne R. Ferren, Jr.
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Mollugo
Next taxon: Mollugo verticillata

Botanical illustration including Mollugo cervianabotanical illustration including Mollugo cerviana

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Citation for this treatment: Michael A. Vincent & Wayne R. Ferren, Jr. 2012, Mollugo cerviana, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 13, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 13, 2024.

Mollugo cerviana
click for image enlargement
©2005 James M. Andre
Mollugo cerviana
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©2022 Steve Matson
Mollugo cerviana
click for image enlargement
©2022 Steve Matson
Mollugo cerviana
click for image enlargement
©2022 Steve Matson
Mollugo cerviana
click for image enlargement
©2022 Steve Matson

More photos of Mollugo cerviana
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Mollugo cerviana:
SnJt, D
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
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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 occurrence).


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 Flowering-Fruiting Monthly Counts

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).