Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Arenaria humifusa Wahlenb.

English: Salt marsh sandwort.

Caryophyllaceae, Pink family.

Published in Fl. Lapp. 129. 1812.

Type: Sweden, Lulea Lappmark, Jokkmokk (Unna Tuki at Virihavre), 31.07.1807, leg. Wahlenberg, selected by Moberg and Nilsson, Nord. J. Bot. 11: 295. 1991. Lectotype: UPS.

Vegetative morphology. Plants 0.5–3 cm high; perennial herbs; caespitose, or not caespitose. Only fibrous roots present. Ground level or underground stems horizontal; rhizomatous; elongate; 0.3–1.5 mm wide. Caudex absent. Aerial stems decumbent. Leaves present; distributed along the stems; opposite; not distinctly distichous; marcescent. Petioles absent. Leaf blade bases cuneate. Blades 3–7 mm long, 1–2.5 mm wide, appressed to the stem or spreading, oblong or lanceolate, flat, appearing single-veined or with inconspicuous veins. Blade adaxial surface shiny, glabrous. Blade abaxial surface glabrous. Blade margins glabrous; apices acute.

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems with leaves. Flowering stems hairy. Flowering stems puberulent. Flowering stem hairs simple; white or translucent. Flowers solitary (usually), or in inflorescences (rarely). Inflorescences with flowers in a dichasium. Flowers per inflorescence (1–)2–4; small. Sepals conventional; 5; free; 1–1.8 mm long; 3–5 mm wide; green; herbaceous. Calyx glabrous. Petals conventional; free; same length as the calyx, or longer than the calyx (slightly); 5; white; lanceolate; unlobed; 3.5–5.5 mm long. Stamens 10; stamen filaments glabrous. Anthers yellow; ellipsoid; 0.2–0.3 mm long. Ovary superior; carpels 3; syncarpous. Ovaries oblong; glabrous. Styles present; 3; free; 0.8–1.2 mm long. Stigmas per ovary 1. Placentation free central. Ovules per ovary 10–20. Fruit with calyx persisting; dry; a capsule; oblong; yellowish (with brown teeth); 4–5.5 mm long; 2–2.5 mm wide; surface appearing veinless; dehiscent; opening with teeth at the top of the capsule; teeth 6. Seeds numerous; 0.6–0.8 mm long; brown; surfaces verrucose (and lustrous).

Chromosome information. 2n = 40 and 44.

2n (4x) = 40. Horn, in Löve and Löve (1948, arctic Norway); Engelskjøn (1979, arctic Norway); Halliday, in Löve and Löve (1961a); Hedberg (1967, northern Canada); Löve and Löve, in Löve (1975a, 1982, Arctic Canada).

2n = 44. Knaben and Engelskjøn (1967, northern Norway).

Ploidy levels recorded 4x.

Ecology and habitat. Substrates: around the margins of ponds, along streams, river terraces; imperfectly drained moist areas (seepage slopes, pond sides); rocks, gravel; with low organic content; calcareous, or halophytic.

North American distribution. Nunavut Islands, continental Nunavut, northern Quebec, Labrador. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago limited. Rare. Low Arctic. Arctic islands: Baffin, Ellesmere, Cornwallis, Southampton (Coats and Igloolik).

Northern hemisphere distribution. Amphi-Atlantic. Northern Fennoscandian, Svalbard – Franz Joseph Land, Central Canada, Labrador – Hudson Bay, Ellesmere Land – Peary Land, West Greenland, East Greenland.

General notes. This taxon is related to, but considered species-level distinct from, the amphi-Beringian, A. longipedunculata Hultén, which is reported as octoploid (2n = 80, Löve and Löve, in Löve 1975a) and reaches east to the Mackenzie River and western N.W.T. on continental North America.

McNeill (1962) [Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinb. 24: 112] cited the author combination as '(Sw.) Wahlenb.'. However, there is no reference to Schwarz in Wahlenberg's publication (Elven, in discussion, 2002).

Illustrations. • Habitat: Baffin Island, Ogac Lake. Small plants with white flowers growing on the rocky slope between the markers. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Ogac Lake. 15 July, 2004. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–095. CAN 586567. • Habitat. Small plants with white flowers growing on the rocky slope between the markers. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Ogac Lake. 15 July, 2004. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–095. CAN 586567. • Close-up of plants. Small plants with white flowers growing on the rocky slope near the lake shore. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Ogac Lake. 15 July, 2004. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–095. CAN 586567. • Close-up of flowers. Close-up of flowers with spatulate sepals, five simple ovate petals, 10 stamens with tiny purple anthers and three styles tipped with expanded stigmas. Nunavut, Baffin Island Ogac Lake. 14 July, 2004. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–094. CAN 586566. • Close-up of flower. Left, flower with five with sepals, five ovate white petals, an outer whole of 5 dehisced anthers, an inner whorl of 5 younger anthers, and 3 styles with receptive fluffy stigmas on the top. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Ogac Lake. 14 July, 2004. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–094. CAN 586566. • Arctic Island Distribution.


This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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