Malva lasiocarpa A.St.-Hil. & Naudin
Malva lateritia Hook.
Malva peduncularis Hook. & Arn.
Malvastrum lasiocarpum (A.St.-Hil. & Naudin) Griseb.
Malvastrum lateritium (Hook.) G.Nicholson
Malveopsis lateritia (Hook.) Morong
Modiola lateritia (Hook.) K.Schum.
Modiolastrum lateritium is a perennial plant that can be evergreen in mild winters or herbaceous in colder winters. It produces several, branched stems that trail across the ground producing new roots at the leaf nodes. If it comes into contact with a vertical surface such as a wall, it will climb the wall, attaching itself by means of the stem roots. The stems can be 150cm or more long.
The plant is sometimes grown as an ornamental. We have seen no specific information on edibility, but it is related to a number of other edible species which do not known to contain toxins. We have often eaten the flowers and leaves.
Southern South America - Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, southern Brazil.
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Modiolastrum lateritium is found in the warm temperate to subtropical climate from central Argentina to southern Brazil. This species is not very cold tolerant, but is known to survive winter temperatures falling for short periods down to as low as -8°c.
Requires a warm, sunny position in a well-drained soil. One report says that it grows and flowers best in a sun-baked nitrogen-starved soil, whilst another says that it requires a rich soil to do well.
The plant produes long trailing stems, it is a weak climber, but grows well as a creeping plant where its stems make an effective ground cover.
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. The young leaves have a pleasant mild flavour with a mucilaginous texture, they make an acceptable addition to a mixed salad[
Flowers - raw[
The plant produces long trailing stems and can be used for ground cover[
Seed - best sown in early spring in a cold frame. The seed germinates quickly and easily. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in protected conditions for their first winter. Plant them out in their permanent positions in the early summer[
Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.
Cuttings of side shoots, mid summer in a cold frame[