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John M. Miller, except as noted

Annual to perennial herb; generally fleshy. Stem: 1–many, generally glabrous. Leaf: simple, alternate or opposite. Inflorescence: axillary or terminal; cyme, raceme, panicle, umbel, or flower 1. Flower: bisexual, radial; sepals generally 2(9), free; petals (1)2–19, free or ± fused; stamens 1–many, epipetalous or not, anthers pink, rose, or yellow; ovary superior, chamber 1, ovules 1–many, placenta basal or free-central; styles (0)1–8, generally fused at base, branched. Fruit: capsule, circumscissile or 2–3-valved. Seed: 1–many, shiny or ± pebbly or sculptured, black or gray, generally with oil-filled appendage as food for ants.
± 22 genera, ± 230 species: generally temperate America, Asia, Australia, Europe, Kerguelen Is, New Zealand, southern Africa, poorly represented in Europe; some cultivated (Lewisia, Calandrinia). [Ogburn & Edwards 2009 Amer J Bot 96:391–408] All California genera previously included in Portulacaceae; details of flowers, seeds require 20× magnification. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Applequist et al. 2006 Syst Bot 31:310–319; Nyffeler et al. 2008 Haseltonia 14: 26–36]
Unabridged note: May include Hectorellaceae.

Key to Montiaceae


John M. Miller & Kenton L. Chambers

Annual, perennial herb, from stolon, rhizome, tuberous root, or taproot, glabrous, ± fleshy. Leaf: entire; basal generally 0–many, rosetted; cauline generally 2, ± opposite, free, ± fused on 1 side, or fused into ± disk. Inflorescence: terminal, raceme, 1-sided; pedicel reflexed, in fruit erect. Flower: petals 5, pink or white; stamens 5; ovary chamber 1, placentas basal, style 1, stigmas 3. Fruit: valves 3, margins inrolling, forcibly expelling seeds. Seed: 3–6, generally black, generally appendaged.
27 species: Central America, North America, eastern Asia, Siberia. (John Clayton, colonial American botanist, 1694–1773) [Miller & Chambers 2006 Syst Bot Monogr 78:1–236]
Unabridged references: [Miller 2003 FNANM 4:465–474; Miller & Chambers 1993 Novon 3:268–273; Miller & Chambers 2006 Systematics of Claytonia Syst Bot Monogr 78:1–236]

Key to Claytonia

C. perfoliata Willd. MINER'S LETTUCE
Annual. Stem: 1–40 cm, spreading to erect. Leaf: basal 1–25 cm, blade < 4 cm, < 3 × longer than wide, elliptic to reniform, tip rounded to acute, petiole linear; cauline fused into < 10 cm diam, round, ± obtuse-angled, or ± square disk (or free on 1 side). Inflorescence: stalked or not, open or dense, 1-bracted at base; flowers 5–40. Flower: sepals 1.5–5 mm; petals 2–6 mm, white or ± pink. Fruit: 1.5–4 mm. Seed: 1.2–2.7 mm, ovate to round, shiny, smooth. Highly variable; subspecies difficult because of environmental modification of character states, genetic mixing among polyploids, and geographic overlap of distinct, self-pollinated forms. [Online Interchange]

C. perfoliata subsp. mexicana (Rydb.) John M. Mill. & K.L. Chambers
Leaf: basal deltate to reniform, mucronate; cauline disk angles generally 2, generally short-pointed.
2n=12,24. Shrubland, woodland, rock crevices, rockslides; 500–2000 m. North Coast Ranges, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast Ranges, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges; Arizona, Mexico, Central America. Intergrades with Claytonia perfoliata subsp. perfoliata, Claytonia parviflora, Claytonia rubra. Feb–Apr [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Apr 1 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Claytonia perfoliata subsp. mexicana, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, perfoliata subsp. mexicana, accessed on Apr 1 2015

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click for enlargement Claytonia perfoliata subsp. mexicana
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© 2002 Dean Wm. Taylor

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Claytonia perfoliata subsp. mexicana Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.