Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Mollugo verticillata
L., Molluginaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Reject, score: 8 (Go to the risk assessment).

Common name(s): [more details]

English: carpetweed, green carpetweed, Indian chickweed, mollugine

Spanish: alfombra, cabello de gia, mofungo, tomillo

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Herbs erect or diffuse, 10-30 cm. Petiole short or leaves subsessile; basal leaves in a rosette, obovate or obovate-spatulate, 1.5-2 cm; stem leaves in pseudowhorls of 3-7, or 2 or 3 in groups on one side of node, oblanceolate or linear-oblanceolate, 1-3 cm x 1.5-4 (-8) mm, yellowish green when dry, base narrowly cuneate, apex acute or obtuse. Inflorescences axillary, umbellate clusters, 3-5-flowered. Pedicel 3-5 mm, slender. Tepals 5, rarely 4, imbricate, pale or greenish white, oblong or ovate-oblong, 2.5-3 mm, margin membranous, apex acute. Stamens (2 or)3(-5). Ovary 3-loculed; styles 3. Capsule ellipsoid or subglobose, 3-4 x ca. 2.5 mm, pericarp membranous, 3-valved, apex with persistent styles, persistent tepals surrounding more than half. Seeds numerous, chestnut-colored, shiny, reniform, smooth, raphe with 3-5 arcuate ribs, between ribs with fine and closely transverse grains"  (Flora of China online).

"Annual herb.  The root is a taproot which is only slightly branched.  The stem is glabrous, prostrate and highly branched and forms dense mats.  The leaves are simple, arranged in whorls of 5 to 6 leaves at each stem joint or node, they are spatulate, 1 to 2.5 centimeters long and entire.  The inflorescence is a simple umbel of white flowers which are small and radially symmetrical.  The fruit is a 3-valed capsule and the seeds are small, orange-red and kidney shaped"  (Cardenas et al., 1972; p. 93).

Habitat/ecology:  "Annual herb commonly found in cultivated fields"  (Cardenas et al., 1972; p. 93).  In China, "barren grasslands, dry farmlands; near sea level"  (Flora of China online).

Propagation:  Seed (Cardenas et al., 1972; p. 93).

Native range:  "Pantropic, naturalized in temperate regions" (GRIN).


Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
China (People's Republic of) invasive
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Hong Kong   Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 80)
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 181)

Additional information:
Additional online information about Mollugo verticillata is available from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Information about Mollugo verticillata as a weed (worldwide references) may be available from the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Taxonomic information about Mollugo verticillata may be available from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).


Cardenas, Juan/Reys, Carlos E./Doll, Jerry D./Pardo, Fernando. 1972. Tropical weeds; malezas tropicales, vol. 1. International Plant Protection Center, Oregon State University, Corvallis. 341 pp.

Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro. 2004. Invasive alien species in Japan: the status quo and the new regulation for prevention of their adverse effects. Global Environmental Research 8(2)/2004: 171-191.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. 2013. National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online searchable database.

Wu, Te-lin. 2001. Check List of Hong Kong Plants. Hong Kong Herbarium and the South China Institute of Botany. Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Bulletin 1 (revised). 384 pp.

Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong. 2013. Flora of China (online resource).

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This page was created on 25 FEB 2007 and was last updated on 9 DEC 2010.