Montia linearis - Narrow-leaved montia

Portulacaceae



Montia linearis - Narrow-leaved montia

I've seen this weed in many cultivated fields.  It germinates in early spring (February), blooms in March, and is dead before May.  It is so small, most will never notice it.  It is likely that each of you have walked over this plant every spring, but were never aware of it.

I include a brief description of this plant because it inhabits cultivated fields of western Oregon.  Even though it is hardly a threat and barely noticeable.

It's habit is a small clump up to 6 inches tall and wide, though usually much smaller.

Montia linearis - Narrow-leaved montia

Foliage is tubular in cross-section, and often turns red during dry spells or in late spring just before it dies.

Montia linearis - Narrow-leaved montia



Like other plants in the family Portulacaceae, flowers have 5 petals and 2 sepals.  Flowers are only open on sunny days (also typical of Portulacaceae).

Montia linearis - Narrow-leaved montia

Usually, flowers are nodding downward.

Montia linearis - Narrow-leaved montia

Flowers occur in racemes which is more evident in the ripening seed pods below.  Flowers can also be described as secund, meaning flowers occur on only one side of the stem.

Montia linearis - Narrow-leaved montia



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