Montia fontana L.


Sp. Pl. 87 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Annual herb to c. 10 cm high, simple to much-branched from the base and/or above, commonly rooting from lower nodes. Leaves opposite, oblong, elliptic or spathulate, to 1 cm long, 4 mm wide, the bases expanded and very shortly fused around the stem. Flowers solitary or in small umbellate clusters in upper axils, exceedingly short-lived; pedicels elongating to c. 1 cm long in fruit; sepals wider than long, broadly rounded at apex, shortly united at base; petals unequal, united in the lower c. third, white to pale mauve; stamens 3; style trifid to below halfway to almost entire. Capsule globoid, splitting to base. Seeds blackish, smooth to papillate.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Gold, HNF, HSF, MonT, NIS, OtR, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, Wim.

4 subspecies (Moore 1963), 3 recorded for Australia and Victoria.

The following key and descriptions are based on Victorian specimens and do not completely align with descriptions of North American and western European material.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1996). Portulacaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
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Distribution map


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Montia fontana in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Montia fontana in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Victorian Alps present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory