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

Minuartia nuttallii (Pax) Briq.
Nuttall's Stitchwort (Musk-flower; Nuttall's sandwort)
Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #12814)

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Distribution of Minuartia nuttallii
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Minuartia nuttallii ssp. nuttallii

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a deep, stout taproot and a much-branched stem-base; forming mats as much as 30 cm wide; stems trailing to ascending, several, branched, glandular-hairy, 4-12 cm tall/long; flowering stems brittle.
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves opposite, 6-10 mm long, about 1 mm wide, glandular-hairy, usually overlapping except on the upper part of the flowering stems, linear awl-like to narrowly lanceolate, 3-nerved, the middle nerve usually much more prominent, secondary leaves usually clustered in the axils of the numerous primary leaves along the stems; stipules lacking.
Inflorescence few- to many-flowered in a compact, spreading cluster; petals oblong, obtuse, 3.5-4 mm long; sepals, 4-6 mm long, linear-lanceolate to lanceolate-egg-shaped, long-pointed or abruptly sharp-pointed, obscurely 3-nerved.
Capsules egg-shaped, 3-5 mm long, 3-valved; seeds dark brown, plump, 1.0-1.3 mm long, prominently elongate-pimply in concentric rows.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry grasslands, shrublands, forest openings and rocky slopes in the alpine zone; rare in SE BC; E to AB and S to WY, UT and OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Minuartia nuttallii

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) 1040 1440 2019
Slope Gradient (%) 10 35 80
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
45 247 340
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 2 3
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: ESSF(1), ICH(2), MS(1)


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 not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References