Sandworts of genus Minuartia are annual to perennial herbs with opposite, mostly linear leaves without stipules. Most of our plants are mat-forming and less than 10 cm tall. The flowers are usually born in open and diffuse to narrowed clusters, only occasionally are they single and terminal or in the axils of barely reduced leaves. The flowers are rather small, usually complete, or lacking petals, sometimes functionally either male or female. There are 5 sepals, which are free or joined only at the base, 1- to 3 nerved. There are 5 white petals, from 2 or 3 times as long as the calyx to greatly reduced or lacking, entire to slightly shallowly notched, but not 2-lobed. There are usually 10 stamens, inserted with the petals at the edge of a very slightly developed to fairly prominent, glandular disk surrounding the ovary. There are usually 3 styles. The capsule is 1-celled, few- to several-seeded, splitting open by 3 valves, which are membranous to firm or moderately stiffened. The seeds are plump to flattened and more or less wing-edged. The genus is widely distributed and found under a wide range of habitats, as from swampy and often saline areas to montane rock slides.
Guide to Identify Presented Species of Genus Minuartia
PLANTS OF MOSTLY LOWER ELEVATIONS
M. nuttallii Nuttall's Sandwort Matted plant, 3-10 cm tall, glandular-hairy. Open sagebrush hills-alpine slopes.
Flowers white, 10-15 mm wide, on spreading stalks. Petals broad-lanceolate.
Leaves 5-10 mm long, linear- to awl- or narrowly needle-shaped, 3-nerved.