[The Montias of Mt. Adams]

Water Montia

Montia chamissoi

The photo above shows water montia in a moist area along a stream to the east of the Mt. Adams Highway....................May 13, 2007. Note the several pairs of opposite, fleshy leaves on the erect stems.
Characteristics:

Water montia is a perennial with wide spreading rhizomes, with leafless stolons that root freely. The flower stems are erect, from 5-20 cm tall, and simple to branched. The leaves are opposite on the stems with several pairs of leaves present. Individual leaves are 2-5 cm long, oblanceolate to rhombic-obovate in shape, and from 5-17 mm wide. The leaves narrow gradually to a short petiole.

The inflorescence is a lax lax raceme arising from a leaf axil. 3-10 white or pink flowers are present. The 5 petals range from 5-8 mm long while the two green sepals are 2-3 mm long.



Uses:

Like other members of this genus, water montia may be eaten either raw, in salads, or cooked.


Habitat:

Water montia may be found in very moist places such as bogs or grassy wetlands and seeps at low to medium elevation.


Range:

Water montia may be found from Alaska south to California (In the Pacific Northwest, it is found mostly east of the Cascades.) To the east, it may be found as far as Minnesota, Manitoba, Iowa, and south to New Mexico.


The photo above shows a close-up of the flower of water montia as seen in a moist area along a stream to the east of the Mt. Adams Highway....................May 13, 2007. Note that each anther is pressed up against the petal, and that the stigma is tri-lobed.

The photo above shows a close-up sideview of the flower of water montia. This species, like all members of the purslane family, has 2 fleshy green sepals at the base of the flower....................May 13, 2007.

The photo above shows a close-up view of the opposite leaves and inflorescence of water montia as seen along the Willard Springs foot trail in Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge, at the southeastern corner of Mt. Adams......................May 4, 2007. Note again the opposite pairs of fleshy leaves on the erect stem.

The photo above shows water montia in a moist area along a stream to the east of the Mt. Adams Highway....................May 13, 2007.

The photo above shows a mass of water montia as seen at the Klickitat Canyon NRCA to the east of Mt. Adams.............................June 22, 2008.

Paul Slichter