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Vascular Plants of California
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Montia fontana
WATER CHICKWEED, BLINKS


Higher Taxonomy
Family: MontiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: MINER'S LETTUCE FAMILY
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
Reference: Heenan 2007 New Zealand J Bot 45:437--439
Unabridged Reference: Miller 2003 FNANM 4:485--488; Moore 1963 Bot Not 116:16--30
Montia fontana L.
NATIVE
Habit: Annual 1--30 cm, prostrate to erect, floating or not, often tufted or matted, rooting at lower nodes. Leaf: opposite, +- sessile, 3--20 mm, linear to widely oblanceolate, base tapered, tip acute to obtuse. Inflorescence: many, some axillary; flowers 1--8, lowest 1--2-bracted. Flower: often cleistogamous; sepals 1--2 mm, round; petals 1--2 mm, +- unequal, white; stamens 3. Fruit: 1--2 mm. Seed: 0.5--1.2 mm, generally +- rough with acute tubercles; appendage round or flat. Chromosomes: 2n=20,40.
Ecology: Common. Ponds, streams, vernal pools, seeps; Elevation: < 3200 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP, GB; Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, eastern North America; +- worldwide. Highly variable. Flowering Time: Feb--Jul Note: Generally self-pollinated.
Synonyms: Montia fontana subsp. amporitana Sennen; Montia fontana subsp. chondrosperma (Fenzl) Walters; Montia fontana subsp. variabilis Walters; Montia funstonii Rydb.; Montia hallii (A. Gray) Greene; Montia verna Necker
Jepson eFlora Author: John M. Miller & Kenton L. Chambers
Reference: Heenan 2007 New Zealand J Bot 45:437--439
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Montia fontana

botanical illustration including Montia fontana

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Citation for this treatment: John M. Miller & Kenton L. Chambers 2012, Montia fontana, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, https://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=33992, accessed on January 24, 2021.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2021, Jepson eFlora, https://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/, accessed on January 24, 2021.

Montia fontana
click for enlargement
© 2009 Keir Morse
Montia fontana
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Montia fontana
click for enlargement
© 2009 Keir Morse
Montia fontana
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Montia fontana
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Montia fontana
click for enlargement
© 2006 Steve Matson

More photos of Montia fontana in CalPhotos



Geographic subdivisions for Montia fontana:
CA-FP, GB
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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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All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).