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PORTULACACEAE

PURSLANE FAMILY

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.

MONTIA

Kenton L. Chambers

Annual or perennial herb, glabrous, ± fleshy, sometimes ± aquatic, sometimes matted
Leaves: cauline > 2, alternate or opposite, entire
Inflorescence: raceme, 1-sided; lowest flower generally bracted; pedicels recurved, erect in fruit
Flower: petals (3–)5, equal or 2 larger; stamens (3–)5, filaments fused to corolla-base; ovary chamber 1, placentas basal, style 1, stigmas 3
Fruit: capsule; valves 3, margins rolling inward and forcibly expelling seeds
Seeds 1–3, generally black, smooth to tubercled, fleshy-appendaged or not
Species in genus: 12 species: Am, Siberia, Australia
Etymology: (Giuseppe Monti, Italian botanist, 1682–1760)
Reference: [McNeill 1975 Can J Bot 53:789–809]
Sometimes divided into 9 genera.

Native

M. chamissoi (Spreng.) Greene

TOAD LILY

Perennial 2–30 cm, from leafy stolons, erect to prostrate or floating, often tufted or matted; rhizomes scaly, with pink, overwintering bulblets
Leaves opposite, 5–50 mm, oblanceolate
Inflorescences generally few, some axillary; flowers 2–8
Flower: sepals 1.5–2 mm, spheric; petals 5–9 mm, equal, pink or white; stamens 5
Fruit 1–1.5 mm
Seed 1–1.3 mm; tubercles low, rounded; appendage flattened
Chromosomes: 2n=22
Ecology: Wet, sandy or loamy soil, seeps, wet meadows
Elevation: 1100–3700 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, High North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, Great Basin Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, Wyoming, New Mexico, also c Canada, north-central US
Flowering time: Jun–Aug

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