This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
A somewhat succulent low herb, perennial by long stolons, bearing bulblets, the leaves opposite, the inflorescence a few-flowered terminal raceme. Sepals 2, nearly equal. Corolla regular, of 5 similar and equal distinct petals. Stamens 5. Ovary about 3-ovuled. Capsule 1-3-seeded, the seeds roughened. [Greek, beauty of a spring, in allusion to the habitat of the plant.]
A monotypic genus of western North America.
Montia Chamissonis Greene, Fl. Fran. 180. 1891.
Annual, glabrous, stoloniferous at the base, stems weak, ascending or procumbent, 3-9' long. Leaves spatulate or oblanceolate, obtuse, narrowed into a petiole or sessile, 1'-2' long, 3"-s" wide; flowers few, pink, racemose, 3"-4" broad, the petals much longer than the calyx; pedicels slender, 4"-15" long, recurved in fruit; capsule very small.
4. MÓNTIA [Micheli] L. Sp. Pl. 87. 1753.
Small annual glabrous herbs, with opposite fleshy leaves and minute nodding solitary or loosely racemed white flowers. Sepals 2 (rarely 3), broadly ovate, persistent. Petals 3, hypogynous, more or less united. Stamens 3 (very rarely 5), inserted on the corolla. Ovary 3-ovuled; style short, 3-parted. Capsule 3-valved, 3-seeded. Seeds nearly orbicular, compressed, minutely tuberculate. [In honor of Guiseppe Monti, Italian botanist and author of the eighteenth century.]
A genus of few species, widely distributed in the colder parts of both hemispheres, the following typical.
Montia fontana L. Sp. Pl. 87. 1753.
Densely tufted, very green, weak, diffuse or ascending, 1'-6' long, freely branching. Leaves opposite, spatulate or obovate, mainly obtuse, 3"-6" long, 1" broad or less; flowers nodding, solitary and terminal or in a small loose leafy-bracted raceme; sepals obtuse, slightly shorter than the ovate-oblong petals; capsule globose, nearly 1" in diameter.
In springs and wet places, St. Anne des Monts, Quebec; Maine, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Labrador, Newfoundland, and across arctic America, extending south in the mountains to California. Also in the Andes of South America, in Australasia and in northern Europe and Asia. Summer.