Montia fontana

Primary tabs

Montia fontana


Aquatic herb, in patches up to c. 6 cm high. Leaves opposite, elliptic, up to 4 by 2 mm, not caducous but decaying. Flowers solitary or 2-3 together with a membranaceous bract, inserted in the axil of a leaf. Sepals suborbicular, c. 1.2 mm ø, acute to mucronate. Petals 5, obovate to spathulate, 2 larger, up to 1.6 by 1 mm, 3 smaller, up to 1.6 by 0.6 mm, the latter each with an epipetalous stamen. Fruit globular, c. 1.2 mm ø; Seeds 2-3, c. 1.2 mm Ø;


Alps present, Americas present, Andes present, Asia-Tropical, Australasia present: Tasmania (Tasmania present), Central Africa present, East New Guinea present, Mt Kilimanjaro present, Mt Lofty Ranges, south of 36° SL present, Mt Wilhelmina present, New Zealand present, Northern hemisphere in temperate localities present, Rocky Mts present, SE. Australia present, West New Guinea present, between Mt Dickson and Kuputivava present
Northern hemisphere in temperate localities, Americas (Rocky Mts, Andes), Central Africa (Mt Kilimanjaro), SE. Australia (Alps and Mt Lofty Ranges, south of 36° SL), Tasmania, and New Zealand; in Malesia: West New Guinea (Mt Wilhelmina) and East New Guinea (between Mt Dickson and Kuputivava). This peculiar distribution in Australasia reminds of that of Hydrocotyle vulgaris L. (cf. ).


A variable species of which several infraspecific taxa are distinguished, which to some have the status of species.


GEESINK: Pac. Pl. Areas
MERR. & PERRY 1942 – In: J. Arn. Arb.: 386