Common name. Mousetails. Family Ranunculaceae.
Subfamily Ranunculoideae, Tribe Ranunculeae.
Habit and leaf form. Herbs. ‘Normal’ plants. Leaves well developed. Plants with roots; unarmed; autotrophic. Annual. Leaves basal, or cauline. To 0.25 m high. Self supporting. Mesophytic. Not heterophyllous. Leaves medium-sized, or small; alternate; with blades; leathery; petiolate; simple. Leaf blades neither inverted nor twisted through 90 degrees; entire; flat; linear, or linear and elliptic. Mature leaf blades adaxially glabrous; abaxially glabrous. Leaves without stipules. Leaf anatomy. Hairs absent.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Plants homostylous.
Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers solitary; not crowded at the stem bases; terminal; subsessile; small; regular; not resupinate; 5 merous. Free hypanthium absent. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10(–12); 2 -whorled; isomerous, or anisomerous. Calyx present; 5(–7); 1 -whorled; polysepalous; glabrous; spurred. Sepals linear and oblong. Corolla (honey leaves) present (in Australia); 5; 1 -whorled; polypetalous; glabrous abaxially; glabrous adaxially. Petals oblong; clawed (limb strap-like, oblong-ovate with a basal nectariferous pit). Androecium present. Fertile stamens present. Androecial members definite in number, or indefinite in number. Androecium 5–10 (or more). Stamens 5–10 (or more); isomerous with the perianth, or diplostemonous, or triplostemonous to polystemonous (rarely); filantherous. Filaments glabrous. Anthers separate from one another; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; tetrasporangiate; yellow. Fertile gynoecium present. Gynoecium 100 carpelled (‘numerous’). The pistil 100 celled (‘numerous’). Carpels increased in number relative to the perianth. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious; superior. Ovary plurilocular; 100 locular (‘numerous’). Gynoecium stylate. Styles free; simple; apical; persistent. Stigmas 1 - lobed. Ovules 1 per locule.
Fruit and seed features. Fruit 1–1.5 mm long; indehiscent; achene-like (3-angled). Dispersal unit the seed. Seeds endospermic.
Geography, cytology, number of species. Adventive. Not endemic to Australia. Australian states and territories: Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, and Tasmania. South-West Botanical Province. A genus of ca 15 species; 1 species in Western Australia; M. minimus L. (var. australis (F.Muell.) Huth); 0 endemic to Western Australia.
Etymology. From the Greek for "a mouse" and "a tail"; alluding to the long slender fruiting spike.
FloraBase is produced by the staff of the Western Australian Herbarium, Biodiversity and Conservation Science, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. Publication or other use of content on this site is unauthorised unless that use conforms with the copyright statement.
Western Australian Herbarium (1998–). FloraBase—the Western Australian Flora. Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/