Scientific Name:
Montia L., Sp. Pl. 87 (1753)
  • = Claytonia sect. Australiensis Poelln. (1932)
  • Montia sect. Australiensis (Poelln.) Pax & K.Hoffm. (1934)
  • = Paxia Ö.Nilsson, Bot. Not. 119: 274-275 (1966) nom. illeg., non Paxia Gilg 1892
  • Neopaxia Ö.Nilsson, Bot. Not. 119: 469 (1966)
Type Taxon:

Perennial herbs, stoloniferous, forming dense, close-set mats or cushions, often in tufts when growing among other vegetation. Stems and leafy shoots up to 3 mm diam., white, fleshy; procumbent, creeping on or just below the ground; internodes close to distant, rooting at nodes. Leaves alternate, spreading or erect, simple, linear, narrowly lanceolate to elliptic; apex subacute to obtuse, with a single prominent hydathode; petioles indistinct to distinct; margin entire; base membranous, scarious, shortly sheathing, persistent; stomata sparse on adaxial and abaxial surfaces; epidermal cells elongated, mesophyll homocentric. Inflorescences erect, lateral, cymose; peduncle up to 4 cm long; pedicels up to 30 mm long, often recurved after fertilisation; flowers 1–7 per inflorescence. Involucral leaves 2, equal, broadly ovate, apex obtuse, margin membranous, shorter than capsule. Tepals 5, equal, elliptic to obovate, white, sometimes flushed pink, ± patent at anthesis; claw indistinct to distinct, fused at base. Stamens 5, translucent, equal, to ¾ length of tepals, adnate to base of tepals; connective fixed at apex of anther. Anthers ovoid, extrorse, protandrous. Ovary obovoid, with 3 ovules. Style distinct from ovary, with three stigmatic branches, terete, translucent, white or pink; abscising after fertilisation. Stigmatic branches erect and coalescent during male phase, diverging during the female phase; papillae coarse, on adaxial surface only. Capsule ± globose, valves 3, swollen along sutures; valves at maturity dehiscent, dehiscence weakly explosive. Seeds 3 or fewer per capsule, laterally flattened, broadly obovoid; attachment plate small, ± concave with distinct flat strophiole; testa smooth to rugose, cells arranged in regular to irregular pattern, glossy; operculum present.

[Reproduced from Heenan (1999, New Zealand J. Bot. 37: 213-234, as Neopaxia Ö.Nilsson) with permission from The Royal Society of New Zealand.]

Indigenous (Non-endemic)
Number of species in New Zealand within Montia L.
Indigenous (Endemic)7
Indigenous (Non-endemic)1
Heenan, P.B. 1999: A taxonomic revision of Neopaxia Ö.Nilss. (Portulacaceae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 37: 213–234. [as Neopaxia Ö.Nilsson]
Heenan, P.B. 2007: New combinations in Montia (Portulacaceae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 45: 437–439.
Linnaeus, C. 1753: Species Plantarum. Impensis Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm.
Mabberley, D.J. 2008: Mabberley's plant book, a portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses. Edition 3. Cambridge University Press.
Mabberley, D.J. 2017: Mabberley's plant book, a portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses. Edition 4. Cambridge University Press.
Nilsson, Ö. 1966a: Studies in Montia L. and Claytonia L. and allied genera, I. Correction and additions. Botaniska Notiser 119: 469.
Nilsson, Ö. 1966b: Studies in Montia L. and Claytonia L. and allied genera. I. Two new genera, Mona and Paxia. Botaniska Notiser 119: 265–285.
Nyffeler, R.; Eggli, U. 2010: Disintegrating Portulacaceae: A new familial classification of the suborder Portulacineae (Caryophyllales) based on molecular and morphological data. Taxon 59(1): 227–240.