Nuttall's Sandwort
Minuartia nuttallii (Pax) Briq.
Family: Caryophyllaceae, Pink
Genus: Minuartia
Synonyms: Arenaria nuttallii
Other names:
Nomenclature: nuttallii = named after Nuttall
Nativity / Invasiveness: Montana native plant
No edibility data
No medicinal data

General: copiously glandular-hairy perennial with a stout taproot and a much-branched base. Stems trailing, forming mats up 3 dm broad, flowering branches 3-10 cm tall, very brittle and tending to shatter readily at the nodes.

Leaves: opposite, 5-10 mm long, usually partly overlapping except on the upper parts, linear- to awl- or narrowly needle-shaped, 3-nerved, the middle nerve usually much more prominent, secondary leaves usually growing from the axils of the primary leaves along the stems.

Flowers: few to many in a top cluster, the lower bracts not greatly reduced. Flower stalks stout, spreading, 5-20 mm long. Sepals 4-6 mm long, linear-lanceolate to lanceolate-ovate, sharp-tipped, 1- to 3- (rarely 5) nerved. Petals from shorter to half again longer than the calyx. Disc rather prominent, the filaments alternating with small glandlike protuberances, styles 3. May-August.

Fruits: ovoid capsules, shorter than the sepals, opening by 3 entire valves. Seeds dark brown, plump, about 1.5 mm long, with minute bumps in concentric rows.


Open sagebrush hills to alpine slopes, mostly on open, gravelly benches or talus, in w. and c. parts of MT. Also from B.C. and Alberta to CA, WY and UT.
Sub taxa:

Our specimen belong to ssp. nuttallii (Pax) Briq.

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