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Mollugo L.
Sp.Pl. 2:89 (1753)

Name Status: Not Current

Scientific Description
B. Richardson, Thursday 8 September 2016

Family Molluginaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Herbs; non-laticiferous and without coloured juice. ‘Normal’ plants. Leaves well developed. Plants with roots; unarmed; autotrophic. Annual, or perennial (rarely). Leaves basal, or cauline (in false whorls or subopposite). To forming cushions. Climbing; scrambling. Mesophytic. Leaves medium-sized; alternate, or opposite (‘subopposite’); spiral (in false whorls); with blades, or bladeless; ‘herbaceous’; subsessile to sessile; not connate; simple; not peltate; epulvinate. Leaf blades neither inverted nor twisted through 90 degrees; dorsiventral (in Australia); entire; flat; linear (to filiform). Mature leaf blades adaxially glabrous; abaxially glabrous. Leaves eligulate; with stipules (but small), or without stipules. Stipules scaly; caducous. Leaf blade margins entire; flat. Leaf anatomy. Hairs absent.

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

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’. Inflorescence many-flowered. Flowers in cymes. Inflorescences compound. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences axillary. Flowers pedicellate; bracteate (scarious); ebracteolate; small; regular; not resupinate; 3–5 merous; cyclic; tricyclic. Free hypanthium absent, or present (rarely). Hypogynous disk present, or absent (rarely). Perianth sepaline; 5; 1 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx present; 5; 1 -whorled; polysepalous (in Australia); imbricate; pale green (with a white scarious margin); non-fleshy, or fleshy. Sepals elliptic to obovate. Corolla absent. Androecium present. Fertile stamens present. Androecial members definite in number (in Australia). Androecium 3–5, or 6–10. Androecial members free of one another; 1 -whorled (usually), or 2 -whorled. Stamens 3–5, or 6–10; diplostemonous, or isomerous with the perianth, or reduced in number relative to the adjacent perianth; alternisepalous. Anthers separate from one another; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; tetrasporangiate. Fertile gynoecium present. Gynoecium 3–5 carpelled. The pistil 3–5 celled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth, or isomerous with the perianth. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious to synstylovarious; superior. Ovary plurilocular; 3–5 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 3–5; free; simple. Stigmas 3–5; 1 - lobed. Placentation axile. Ovules ‘several’; anatropous to campylotropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit 2–3 mm long; not hairy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules loculicidal. Dispersal unit the seed. Fruit 1–5 seeded (‘a few’). Seeds non-endospermic. Perisperm present. Seeds small.

Geography, cytology, number of species. Native of Australia, or adventive. Endemic to Australia, or not endemic to Australia. Australian states and territories: Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, and Australian Capital Territory. Northern Botanical Province, or Eremaean Botanical Province. A genus of ca 15 species; 2 species in Western Australia; M. cerviana (L.) Ser.; M. molluginis (F.Muell.) Druce; 0 endemic to Western Australia.

Taxonomic Literature

  • Wheeler, J. R.; Rye, B. L.; Koch, B. L.; Wilson, A. J. G.; Western Australian Herbarium (1992). Flora of the Kimberley region. Western Australian Herbarium. Como, W.A.