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Montia parvifolia

Higher Taxonomy
Family: MontiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: +- 22 genera, +- 230 species: generally temperate America, Asia, Australia, Europe, Kerguelen Is, New Zealand, southern Africa, poorly represented in Europe; some cultivated (Lewisia, Calandrinia). Note: All CA genera previously included in Portulacaceae; details of flowers, seeds require 20× magnification.
Unabridged Note: May include Hectorellaceae.
eFlora Treatment Author: John M. Miller, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: MontiaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Species In Genus: 12 species: Worldwide. Etymology: (Giuseppe Monti, Italian botanist, 1682--1760) Note: Sometimes divided into 9 genera.
eFlora Treatment Author: John M. Miller & Kenton L. Chambers

Montia parvifolia (DC.) Greene
Habit: Perennial herb 5--40 cm; stolon branched, matted, creeping, tips in age erect, densely leafy. Leaf: basal 15--60 mm, narrowly oblanceolate to widely ovate, often sessile, fleshy; leaves of stolons alternate, smaller, much reduced distally on stem, axils generally with easily detached bulblets. Inflorescence: 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 minute-netted); appendage 0 to << 0.2 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=22,44.
Ecology: Moist, rocky slopes, cliffs, creek banks, forest; Elevation: < 2600 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaR, SN, CCo, SnFrB; Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, Montana, Utah. Flowering Time: May--Jul Note: Highly variable; reproduces by bulblets as well as seeds.
eFlora Treatment Author: John M. Miller & Kenton L. Chambers
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botanical illustration including Montia parvifolia


Citation for this treatment: John M. Miller & Kenton L. Chambers 2017. Montia parvifolia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 21, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 21, 2017.

Montia parvifolia
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Montia parvifolia
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Montia parvifolia
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© 2016 Steve Matson
Montia parvifolia
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© 2016 Keir Morse
Montia parvifolia
click for enlargement
© 2010 Steve Matson
Montia parvifolia
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Breckling

More photos of Montia parvifolia in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Montia parvifolia:
NW, CaR, SN, CCo, SnFrB;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

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