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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Annual or perennial herb, generally fleshy
Stems generally glabrous
Leaves simple, alternate or opposite, sometimes stipuled
Inflorescence various
Flower bisexual, radial; sepals generally 2(–8), free or fused at base; petals 3–18, free or ± fused; stamens 1–many, free or inserted on corolla; ovary superior or partly inferior, chamber 1, placenta free-central or basal; styles 2–8, generally fused at base
Fruit: capsule, circumscissile or 2–3-valved
Seeds 1–many, generally black, generally shiny
Genera in family: ± 20 genera, ± 400 species: generally temp Am, Australia, s Africa; some cultivated (Lewisia, Portulaca, Calandrinia )
Reference: [Bogle 1969 J Arnold Arbor 50:566–598]
Family description and key to genera by Dieter H. Wilken & Walter A. Kelley.


Kenton L. Chambers

Annual or perennial herb, from stolon, rhizome, tuber, or taproot, glabrous, ± fleshy
Leaves entire; basal 0–many, rosetted; cauline generally 2, generally opposite, free to fully fused into ± 2-toothed disk or cup surrounding stem
Inflorescence: raceme, terminal, 1-sided; pedicels reflexed, becoming erect in fruit
Flower: petals 5, pink or white; stamens 5, epipetalous; ovary chamber 1, placentas basal, style 1, stigmas 3
Fruit: capsule; valves 3, margins rolling inward and forcibly expelling seeds
Seeds 3–6, generally black, generally clearly appendaged
Species in genus: 28 species: North America, e Asia
Etymology: (John Clayton, colonial Am botanist, born 1686)
Reference: [Miller 1978 Syst Bot 3:322–341; Miller & Chambers 1993 Novon 3:268–273]
Some species formerly placed in Montia.


C. sibirica L.


(Annual) generally per; caudex short, < 1 cm diam, vertical, brownish; rhizomes and stolons short, sometimes forming offset rosettes; taproot slender
Stem 5–60 cm, spreading to erect
Leaves: basal 3–30 cm, blade 1–8 cm, oblanceolate to deltate, base truncate to long-tapered, tip obtuse to long-tapered, some petioles often with bulb-like base; cauline 1–8 cm, free, lanceolate to ovate, sessile, generally acute
Inflorescence simple or branched, stalked, open, bracted throughout; flowers generally 10–20
Flower: sepals 3–6 mm; petals 6–12 mm, generally pinkish; stamens maturing well before stigmas
Fruit 2.5–3.5 mm
Seed 1.5–2 mm, round to elliptic, shiny or dull
Chromosomes: 2n=12,24,36
Ecology: Generally shady moist woodlands, streambanks, marshes
Elevation: < 1300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, High Cascade Range, San Francisco Bay Area
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, Montana
Synonyms: Montia s. (L.) Howell
Horticultural information: DRN, SHD, IRR: 4, 5, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17.

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