Modiola caroliniana (MALVACEAE) Red-flowered mallow, Carolina mallow

A prostrate herb forming a thickened root stock and adventitious roots along the stems native to the warmer regions of North America. Widespread but not damaging. Weed risk: low.

Leaves are alternately arranged, leaf blades are very variable in shape and size – oval, lobed or deeply divided but always with scalloped margins.

Flowers with five reddish petals are borne singly on stalks in the leaf axils, mainly in spring.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Foliage, young fruit

Fruit are hairy, disc-like (7-8 mm across by 3-4 mm high), and separating radially into wedges. Each wedge has two ridges and each ridge ends in two 1-1.5 mm long spines.

In this photo most of the leaves are very deeply lobed, the one at the top right of the picture less so.

Photo: Robert Whyte