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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. parvifolia (DC.) Greene

Perennial 5–40 cm; caudex branched, matted, creeping, becoming erect and densely leafy at tips
Leaves alternate; basal 15–60 mm, very fleshy, narrowly oblanceolate to widely ovate, often sessile; leaves of stolons smaller, much reduced upward, axils generally with easily detached bulblets
Inflorescences terminal; 1+ flowers bracted; flowers 2–12
Flower: sepals 2–3.5 mm, obovate, obtuse; petals 7–15 mm, equal, pink or white; stamens 5
Fruit 2–3 mm
Seed 1–1.5 mm, generally ± smooth (or minutely netted); appendage 0–minute
Chromosomes: 2n=22,44
Ecology: Moist, rocky slopes, cliffs, creekbanks, forests
Elevation: < 2600 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, Montana
Highly variable; reproduces by bulblets as well as seeds
Horticultural information: IRR, DRN: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17.

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