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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.



John M. Miller & Kenton L. Chambers

Annual, perennial herb, glabrous, ± fleshy, ± aquatic or not, matted or not. Leaf: cauline > 2, alternate or opposite, free, entire. Inflorescence: raceme, 1-sided; lowest flower generally bracted; pedicel recurved, erect in fruit. Flower: petals (3)5, equal or 2 larger, white to pink; stamens (3)5, epipetalous; ovary chamber 1, placentas basal, style 1, stigmas 3. Fruit: valves 3, margins rolled in, forcibly expelling seeds. Seed: 1–3, generally black, smooth to tubercled, appendaged or not.
12 species: Worldwide. (Giuseppe Monti, Italian botanist, 1682–1760) [Heenan 2007 New Zealand J Bot 45:437–439] Sometimes divided into 9 genera.
Unabridged references: [Miller 2003 FNANM 4:485–488; Moore 1963 Bot Not 116:16–30]

Key to Montia

1. Leaves opposite, not much reduced upwards

2. Perennial herb, from leafy stolons with pink overwintering bulblets; petals 5–9 mm, >> sepals ..... M. chamissoi

2' Annual, without stolons or overwintering bulblets; petals 1–2 mm, ± = sepals ..... M. fontana

1' Leaves alternate, reduced upwards or not

3. Perennial herb; leaves basal and on stolons; petals 7–15 mm ..... M. parvifolia

3' Annual; leaves basal and cauline or generally cauline; petals < 6.5 mm

4. Leaves lanceolate to deltate; seed appendage 0.2–0.4 mm ..... M. diffusa

4' Leaves ± linear; seed appendage 0 or << 0.2 mm

5. Sepals 3–7 mm; stem 4–25 cm; lower stem leaves 2–10 cm; seeds 1.4–2.5 mm ..... M. linearis

5' Sepals < 2.5 mm; stem 1–9 cm; lower stem leaves 0.5–4.5 cm; seeds 0.7–1.2 mm

6. Inflorescence in axils of stem leaves and terminal; plants often tufted, not matted, not rooting at nodes ..... M. dichotoma

6' Inflorescence in axils of membranous bracts opposite stem leaves; plants matted, rooting at lower nodes, not tufted ..... M. howellii


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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