E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Hippuris montana Ledeb.
mountain mare's-tail
Plantaginaceae (Mare's-tail family)
(Previously in Hippuridaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Hans Roemer  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #10268)

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Distribution of Hippuris montana
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Species Information

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Perennial, semi-aquatic or terrestrial herb from a slender creeping rhizome; stems erect, simple, glabrous, 0.5 mm wide, 1.5-10 cm tall.
Stem leaves 5-8 per whorl, linear, unstalked, 2-6 (10) mm long, 0.5-1 mm wide, glabrous, pointed at the tips, stiff above water but limp underwater.
Inflorescence of tiny, single, inconspicuous, imperfect and occasionally perfect flowers in several whorls in the axils of the leaf whorls, stalked below, unstalked in the upper leaf axils, the flowers mostly unisexual, with male flowers below the female flowers; petals lacking; anthers 0.5 mm long; mature ovaries 1 mm long.
Nutlets, about 1 mm long; seeds 1.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Shallow streams, ponds, wet to moist meadows, streambanks and seepage areas in the upper montane to alpine zones; infrequent in coastal BC, rare in S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; amphiberingian, N to AK, YT and NT, E to AB and S to NW WA; E. Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Hippuris montana

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 717 1442 2640
Slope Gradient (%) 0 21 58
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 328 330
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 5 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BAFA(5), ESSF(14), ICH(1), IMA(2), MH(24), MS(1), SBS(1)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-intolerant, subalpine, Asian and Western North American forb distributed more in the Pacific than the Cordilleran region. Occurs in alpine tundra and subalpine boreal climates on very moist to wet, nitrogen-medium soils. Its occurrence increases with increasing latitude, and decreases with increasing continentality. Common in high­elevation, heath-like or low­shrub communities on water­shedding and water-receiving sites. Associated with Cassiope mertensiana, Luetkeapectinata, and Phyllodoce empetriformis. Characteristic of subalpine communities.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is alpine tundra & boreal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References