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

Montia diffusa (Nutt.) Greene
branching montia (spreading minerslettuce)
Montiaceae (Purslane family)
(Previously in Portulacaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Montia diffusa
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a slender, branched taproot; stems prostrate to erect, several, branched, 15-20 cm tall.
Basal leaves few, lance- to diamond-shaped or rounded, 1-2.5 cm long, nearly as wide, narrowing to a stalk 2 to 4 times as long; stem leaves narrowly diamond-shaped, alternate, lower ones up to 5 cm long, including the stalk, long-stalked below, short-stalked above.
Inflorescence of axillary or terminal panicles with several flowers, the lower 1 or 2 often from the axil of the leafy bract; petals 5, white or pale pink, 3-4 mm long; sepals 2, unequal, egg-shaped, 2-3 mm long; stamens 5.
Capsules, egg-shaped, 2.4-3.2 mm long, pointed; seeds usually 2-3, black, finely pimpled, 1.2-1.5 mm long, appendage protruding.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist forests in the lowland and lower montane zones; rare on S Vancouver Island and the adjacent coast; S to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Montia diffusa

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) 735 735 735
Slope Gradient (%) 65 65 65
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
210 210 210
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 2 2
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: PP(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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Claytonia diffusa Nutt.
Limnalsine diffusa (Nutt.) Rydb.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References