Red-flowered Mallow

Modiola caroliniana (L.) G. Don

Synonyms - Malva caroliniana, Malva multifida.

Family: Malvaceae.

Names:

Modiola is from the Latin modiolus meaning the hub of a wheel referring to the wheel like appearance of the fruit.
Red-flowered Mallow because it has red flowers and is a member of the Mallow or Malvaceae family.

Other names:

Carolina Mallow
Wheel Mallow
Creeping Mallow
Ground Ivy

Summary:

A red flowered, lobed leaf, running, perennial herb that roots at the nodes and has button like fruit formed from red to orange flowers from November to February.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two.

Leaves:

Alternate.
Petiole - Long.
Blade - Bright green, almost circular in outline, 15-35 mm long. Usually deeply lobed into 5 to 7 lobes with rounded teeth on the edges. Base indented to squarish.

Stems:

Stiff, upward bending or ground hugging. Scattered star shaped or simple hairs. Forms roots at the nodes.

Flower head:

Single flowers on long stalks arising from leaf axils.

Flowers:

Red or deep orange and 5 petalled.
Bracts - 3 narrowly oval, hairy, bracts underneath the flower.
Ovary - Hairy at the top. Cells with 2-3 ovules. Style branches with flat topped stigmas.
Sepals - Bell shaped, 5 mm long with 5 oval, obtuse tipped lobes about as long as the tube. Hairy with mostly simple hairs.
Petals - 5, red, 6-8 mm long, slightly longer than calyx.
Stamens -
Anthers -

Fruit:

7-9 mm diameter, button like, round capsule, flat on top. Hairy on top and sides along the ridges of the cells. Made up of about 20 fruitlets or cells.
Fruitlets, 2 awned at top with a horizontal partition. Top section has one upward facing seed and the lower section has a dangling seed. Grooved and hairy on the back. Hairless and crosswise wrinkled on the bottom. Splits along the ridges to release the seeds.

Seeds:

Roots:

Key Characters:

Alternate leaves.
Red or deep orange 5 petalled flowers in spring to summer.
Fruit is a button like capsule that resembles a wagon wheel.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Perennial. Flowers November to February.

Physiology:

Reproduction:

By seed.

Flowering times:

Spring to summer in western NSW.
November to February in SA.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

Hybrids:

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Spread by seed.

Origin and History:

South America.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Climate:

Temperate. Mediterranean.

Soil:

Plant Associations:

Mainly around settlements.

Significance:

Beneficial:

Detrimental:

Weed of newly planted pastures, orchards, gardens, lawns, footpaths and disturbed areas.
In ungrazed areas it can form dense stands excluding all other species.

Toxicity:

Nerve disorders in sheep, cattle and goats.

Symptoms:

Incoordination or staggers, lying down and convulsions before death.
In goats, paralysis of the hindquarters may also occur.

Treatment:

Remove stock from the infestation.

Legislation:

None.

Management and Control:

Difficult to control with herbicides. Cultivation provides good control. Competitive pasture species and grazing keeps it at very low levels.

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Related plants:

Mallows (Malva spp.) and Sida spp.

Plants of similar appearance:

Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis) has orange or blue flowers and leaves with no lobes.

References:

Auld, B.A. and Medd R.W. (1992). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P186. Photo.

Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P561. Diagram.

Burbidge, N.T. and Gray, M. (1970). Flora of the Australian Capital Territory. (Australian National University Press, Canberra). P253-254. Diagram.

Cunningham, G.M., Mulham, W.E., Milthorpe, P.L. and Leigh, J.H. (1992). Plants of Western New South Wales. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P481-482. Photo.

Everist, S.L. (1974). Poisonous Plants of Australia. (Angus and Robertson, Sydney). P520.

Gardner, G.A. and Bennetts, H.W. (1956). The toxic plants of Western Australia. (West Australian Newspapers Ltd, Perth). P139.

Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Cousens, R.D., Dodd, J. and Lloyd, S.G. (1997). Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. (Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia). P176-177. Photo.

Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #831.1.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.