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Montia fontana L.
Family Portulacaceae
Montia fontana L. APNI*

Description: Tufted annual herb with ascending to erect stems to 20 cm long, sometimes rooting at the nodes.

Leaves sessile and stem-clasping, linear to lanceolate, oblanceolate or spathulate, 1–2 cm long, 2–4 mm wide, acute; leaf base dilated, membranous, shortly sheathing the stem.

Pedicels 2–10 mm long. Sepals 1–1.5 mm long. Petals 1.5–2 mm long, white, unequal. Stamens 3, or rarely 5. Stigmas 3, on a style much shorter than the stigmatic arms.

Capsule globose to obovoid, 1–2 mm long, c. as long as sepals; seeds lenticular to obovoid, black.


Flowering: September–December

Distribution and occurrence: Grows in moist or wet conditions in watercourses, swamps, bogs, marshes and wet grassland.
NSW subdivisions: CT, ST, SWS
Other Australian states: Vic. Tas. S.A.
AVH map***

This is a variable species of which 3 or 4 infraspecific taxa (recognized by some as distinct species) have been distinguished. Until further investigation of our Australian material is complete the following subspecies are recognized.

Text by J. G. West
Taxon concept:

 Key to the subspecies 
1Seed coat shiny, smooth to colliculate, no cells with tubercles, lateral cells elongate, seeds 1–1.5 mm diamsubsp. fontana
Seed coat with at least some cells tuberculate2
2Seed coat dull, all cells with obtuse to rounded tubercles, lateral cells ± hexagonal, occasionally elongate, seeds 1–1.2 mm diamsubsp. chondrosperma
Seed coat ± shiny, cells of keel with acute tubercles, lateral cells elongate, colliculate and without tubercles, seeds 0.7–1 mm diam
                       Back to 1
subsp. amporitana

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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