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Published In: Flora Boreali-Americana (Michaux) 1: 136. 1803. (Fl. Bor.-Amer.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/11/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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1. Dichondra carolinensis Michx. (pony-foot)

Pl. 366 e, f; Map 1593

Plants perennial herbs, scrambling but not twining. Stems 5–40 cm long, not angled, sparsely to moderately and minutely hairy. Leaves mostly relatively long-petiolate. Leaf blades 0.7–2.0 cm long, kidney-shaped to nearly circular, rounded or shallowly notched at the tip, shallowly to deeply cordate at the base, the margins otherwise entire or nearly so, the surfaces usually finely hairy. Inflorescences axillary, the flowers solitary, short-stalked. Bracts absent. Calyx of free or nearly free sepals, 2–3 mm long, similar in size and shape, obovate to spatulate, herbaceous, finely hairy on the outer surface. Corollas 1.2–2.5 mm long, relatively deeply 5-lobed, broadly funnelform to bell-shaped, pale yellow. Stamens lacking subtending scales, not exserted. Ovary deeply 2-lobed, 2-locular, with 4 ovules. Styles 2, attached in the notch between the carpels, the stigmas capitate. Fruits 2–3 mm long, each carpel developing into a thin-walled, ovoid, indehiscent or irregularly dehiscent, achenelike fruit. Seeds usually 1 per carpel, 1.5–2.5 mm long, ovate in outline, somewhat flattened on the inner face, the surface smooth, dark brown to more nearly black, often mottled, glabrous. 2n=30. May–November.

Uncommon in southern Missouri (southeastern U.S. west to Missouri and Texas; Caribbean Islands). Pastures, cemeteries, and open, disturbed areas.

This species was first reported outside of cultivation in Missouri by Yatskievych and Summers (1991). The initial Howell County population discovered apparently represents a native occurrence, but other plants in southern Missouri are escapes from cultivation. This species and a few others in the genus are cultivated in lawns in the southeastern United States. Drew (1944) discussed field trials of the closely related D. repens Forst. (with which D. carolinensis sometimes has been combined) as a turfgrass substitute in central Missouri, concluding that plants could not survive freezing winter temperatures in that region.



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