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Family Montiaceae

Synonyms: Hectorellaceae APNI*

Description: Perennial to annual herbs, frequently stemless, rarely subshrubs, very rarely semiaquatic (Montia spp.), sometimes with thickened roots and/or stems.

Leaves spiral, often in rosettes, commonly succulent, sometimes with clasping base, usually glabrous, leaf axils naked.

Inflorescences terminal or lateral, usually cymose, often scorpioid, or flower solitary and axillary, flowers sessile to pedicellate, bisexual (bisexual or unisexual in Hectorella), actinomorphic; sepaloids 2 or more (up to 9 in Lewisia), often persistent and dry at fruiting stage; petaloids 4 or 5 or up to 19 (Lewisia), usually free, sometimes basally connate; stamens as many as petaloids, or numerous (to 100); ovary superior, unilocular, consisting of 2–8 united carpels.

Fruits 2 to 3-valved capsules with usually persistent valves (deciduous in Phemeranthus), or basally circumscissile (Lewisia, Lewisiopsis), or 1-seeded utricles (indehiscent or tardily dehiscent in Lenzia, irregularly dehiscent or indehiscent in Philippiamra), or 1 to 2-seeded indehiscent capsules disintegrating with time (Hectorella and Lyallia), sometimes with a deciduous calyptra formed by the dry perianth remains and stamens; seeds often minutely papillate, with or without a strophiole or elaiosome, rarely with a thin-textured fleshy or chartaceous aril (‘pellicle’, Phemeranthus); embryo curved around the perisperm.

Distribution and occurrence: World: 14 genera, 225 species, North and South America (predominantly western parts), northern Asia to northern Europe (circumboreal), Australia, New Zealand.

External links:
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Montiaceae, Order: Caryophyllales)

Previously included in Portulacaceae (most genera, incl. those listed here) and Hectorellaceae (Hectorella, Lyallia).

Text by Nyffeler & Egli 2010 (Taxon); page created by H. Sauquet (Nov 2020)
Taxon concept: Nyffeler & Egli 2010 (Taxon); APG IV (2016)

Taxa not yet included in identification key

 Key to the genera 
1Leaves usually sessile, rarely petiolate, never dilated at the base, not stem-clasping; petals freeCalandrinia
Leaves with dilated membranous or scarious base, stem-clasping; petals united at the baseMontia

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