Montia L.
Sp.Pl. 2:87 (1753)

Name Status: Current
Browse to the list of specimens for Montia L.

Scientific Description
B. Richardson, Thursday 8 September 2016

Family Portulacaceae.

Tribe Montieae.

Habit and leaf form. Herbs. ‘Normal’ plants. Leaves well developed. Plants with roots; succulent; unarmed. Annual, or perennial. Leaves basal, or cauline. To 0.3 m high; rhizomatous. Self supporting, or climbing; scrambling. Xerophytic. Not heterophyllous. Leaves opposite, or alternate; with blades; sessile (stem-clasping); simple; not peltate. Leaf blades entire; flat; linear to ovate. Mature leaf blades adaxially glabrous; abaxially glabrous. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire. Leaf anatomy. Hairs absent.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’. Inflorescence few-flowered. Flowers in cymes. Inflorescences compound. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose. Flowers pedicellate; ebracteate; small; regular; cyclic; tetracyclic. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 7; 2 -whorled; anisomerous. Calyx present; 2; 1 -whorled; polysepalous. Corolla present; 5; 1 -whorled; gamopetalous (‘connate at the base in a short tube’); white, or pink. Corolla lobes obovate. Androecium present. Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 3, or 5 (5 in the Western Australian species M. australasica). Androecial members free of the perianth; free of the gynoecium; free of one another. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 3–5; all more or less similar in shape; filantherous. Anthers separate from one another; all alike; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; bilocular. Gynoecium 3 carpelled. The pistil 1 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious; superior. Ovary unilocular; 1 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; simple. Placentation basal (or ‘free central’). Ovules in the single cavity 1.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit 2.5–3.5 mm long (M. australasica); dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules valvular. Fruit 3 celled; 3 locular. Dispersal unit the seed. Fruit 0–3 seeded. Seeds small.

Geography, cytology, number of species. Native of Australia. Not endemic to Australia. Australian states and territories: Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania. South-West Botanical Province. A genus of ca 15 species; 1 species in Western Australia; M. australasica (J.D.Hook.) Pax & K.Hoffm.; 0 endemic to Western Australia.

Etymology. After Guiseppe Monti (1682–1760), professor of botany at Bologna.

Taxonomic Literature

  • Blackall, William E.; Grieve, Brian J. (1988). How to know Western Australian wildflowers : a key to the flora of the extratropical regions of Western Australia. Part I : Dicotyledons (Casuarinaceae to Chenopodiaceae). University of W.A. Press. Perth.
  • Marchant, N. G.; Wheeler, J. R.; Rye, B. L.; Bennett, E. M.; Lander, N. S.; Macfarlane, T. D.; Western Australian Herbarium (1987). Flora of the Perth region. Part one. Western Australian Herbarium. Perth.