One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Zoology and Geology. A former genus of horse mussels (now called Modiolus); (also in form modiola) a horse mussel of this genus. Compare "modiolus". Now rare.
2Botany. A small genus of plants of the family Malvaceae, native to warmer parts of North America; a plant of this genus.
Early 19th century. From scientific Latin Modiola, genus name from classical Latin modiolus + -a.
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