Description: Annual [or perennial] herbs, often rooting at the nodes, often subaquatic.
Leaves opposite, sessile or petiolate, often succulent.
Inflorescences few-flowered cymes; bracts alternate, scarious, only 1 per inflorescence in M. fontana. Sepals persistent. Petals 5, united at the base to form a short tube which is split to the base on one side. Stamens 3 or rarely 5. Ovary superior, subglobose to obovoid, ovules 3.
Capsule 3-valved, light brown; seeds 3 or fewer, smooth to tuberculate.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 15 species, chiefly North America, but throughout temperate regions. Australia: 1 species (native).
The key to subspecies of M. fontana is adapted from the following treatments, but is based on N.S.W. material. Refs Walters (1953), Moore (1963).
Text by J. G. West
|One species in NSW: Montia fontana|