Modiola Moench

Reference
Methodus 619 (1794)
Name Status
Current

Scientific Description

Common name. Mallows. Family Malvaceae.

Tribe Malveae.

Habit and leaf form. Herbs (prostrate herbs rooting at base, covered with stellate and/or simple hairs). Plants unarmed. Annual, or perennial; to 0.25 m high; tuberous. Mesophytic. Not heterophyllous. Leaves small to medium-sized; alternate; spiral; petiolate; non-sheathing; simple. Leaf blades dorsiventral; dissected (3–7-lobed); ovate; palmately veined; cordate (or truncate). Mature leaf blades adaxially pubescent; abaxially pubescent. Leaves with stipules. Stipules persistent. Leaf blade margins crenate, or serrate. Leaf anatomy. Hairs present; complex hairs present. Complex hairs stellate. Extra-floral nectaries absent.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Entomophilous.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers solitary; axillary; pedicellate; medium-sized; regular; 5 merous; tetracyclic. Hypogynous disk absent. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx present; 5; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; lobed; lobulate (5-lobed); hairy; valvate; exceeded by the corolla; regular; persistent. Calyx lobes triangular. Epicalyx present (of free bracteoles). Corolla present; 5; 1 -whorled; polypetalous (adnate to the base of the staminal column); contorted; orange, or red (red or orange-red). Androecium present. Androecial members indefinite in number. Androecium 50–100 (i.e. ‘many’). Androecial members adnate; all equal; coherent (connate; the filaments fused in a column surrounding the style); 1 - adelphous (the tube attached to the petals); 1 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens (or rather, half-stamens, each having only a half anther). Stamens 50–100. Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; unilocular. Gynoecium 20 carpelled. The pistil 20 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious to eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary plurilocular; c. 20 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; more than 4-branched (20-branched, i.e. as many as the carpels); apical. Stigmas 20 (coherent at the base); capitate. Placentation axile. Ovules 2 per locule, or 3 per locule.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit 7–9 mm long; non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules loculicidal (discoid, dehiscing into 3 valves, each carpel with 2 awned valves at the apex, transversly septate between seeds). Dispersal unit the seed. Seeds 2 per locule.

Geography, cytology, number of species. World distribution: South America. Adventive. Australian states and territories: Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, and Tasmania. A genus of 1 species; 1 species in Western Australia; 0 endemic to Western Australia.

Etymology. From the Latin for "the nave of a wheel"; refers to the shape of the fruit.

S. Hamilton-Brown, 8 September 2016

Taxonomic Literature

  • Wheeler, Judy; Marchant, Neville; Lewington, Margaret; Graham, Lorraine (2002). Flora of the south west, Bunbury, Augusta, Denmark. Volume 2, dicotyledons. Australian Biological Resources Study. Canberra.
  • Grieve, B. J.; Blackall, W. E. (1998). How to know Western Australian wildflowers : a key to the flora of the extratropical regions of Western Australia. Part II, Dicotyledons (Amaranthaceae to Lythraceae). University of W.A. Press. Nedlands, W.A.