Mosla scabra (Thunb.) C.Y. Wu & H.W. Li

Locations ofMosla scabra (Thunb.) C.Y. Wu & H.W. Li in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Mosla scabra (Thunb.) C.Y. Wu & H.W. Li
Common Name
Mosla, Miniature Beefsteak Plant
Mosla dianthera (Buch.-Ham. ex Roxb.) Maxim., misapplied
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Mosla dianthera (Buchanan-Hamilton ex Roxburgh) Maximowicz
An introduction from eastern Asia, also recorded from six states to the west and south of our area. First discovered in Virginia in September 2010 along Southampton County logging roads and into the adjoining floodplain forests along the Meherrin River. Subsequently discovered along the Nottoway River, Three Creek, and other Nottoway tributaries, as well as near the Blackwater River. Recently collected in several outlying northern Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and mountain counties, indicating a very fast-spreading introduction.

Until recently, our plants were incorrectly identified as Mosla dianthera, a similar Asiatic species that is the only member of the genus included in North American floristic manuals. However, it now appears that all Virginia material, as well as at least some of that from other states, is referrable to M. scabra. See Tsung-Hsin &Tseng-Chieng in Taiwania 44(1): 72-81 (1999) for a detailed comparison of the two species. Many thanks to Charlie Davis of Lutherville, Maryland for bringing this issue to our attention.
Moist, often shaded clearings, old roadways, roadsides, pond edges, and disturbed floodplain alluvium. Locally abundant, Coastal Plain and e. Piedmont; apparently now widespread in the Meherrin, Nottoway, and Blackwater River drainages of se. Virginia, but scattered populations well beyond this area suggest its actual distribution is likely under-represented by the map.
Native Status

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