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

Minuartia rubella (Wahlenb.) Hiern

English: Beautiful sandwort,

French: Minuartie rougeâtre,

Inuktitut: Kakillarnait.

Caryophyllaceae, Pink family.

Published in J. Bot. 37: 321. 1899.

Type: Northern Norway, Lyngen (Lyngentind), 11.07.1807, leg. Wahlenberg. Holotype: UPS.

Synonymy. Alsine rubella Wahlenb., Fl. Lapp. 128. 1812.

Arenaria rubella (Wahlenb.) Sm. In Sowerby, Engl. Fl. 4: 267. 1828.

Arenaria rubella (Wahlenb.) f. epilis (Fernald) Polunin, Rhodora 70: 39. 1939.

Arenaria propinqua Richardson, in Franklin, Narr. Journey Polar Sea (Bot. App.) 738. 1823

Vegetative morphology. Plants 1.5–5(–8) cm high; perennial herbs; caespitose (or matted). Taproot present. Ground level or underground stems horizontal, or absent; stoloniferous; compact; 0.5–1.2 mm wide. Horizontal stems at ground level, branching extensively to shape plant habit as mats (or loose tufts). Caudex absent. Aerial stems erect, or ascending. Aerial stem trichomes spreading, or erect. Leaves distributed along the stems; opposite; marcescent. Petioles absent. Leaf blade bases cuneate. Leaves not grass-like. Blades 3.5–8 mm long, 0.5–1 mm wide, spreading, lanceolate, flat or folded, with three main veins (very conspicuous in dried leaves). Blade adaxial surface dull, glabrous. Blade abaxial surface glabrous. Blade margins with glandular hairs; apices acute.

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems two or more per plant; with leaves. Flowering stems hairy. Flowering stems pubescent. Flowering stem hairs simple; white or translucent; glandular hairs present. Flowers solitary, or in inflorescences. Inflorescences with flowers in a dichasium (often strongly reduced). Flowers per inflorescence 1–3(–4); small. Sepals conventional; 5; free; 3–4.5 mm wide; purple, or green and purple; herbaceous and scarious. Calyx glabrous, or hairy. Calyx hairs glandular, or non-glandular; white or translucent (if applicable). Petals conventional; free; shorter than the calyx (slightly), or same length as the calyx, or longer than the calyx (slightly); 5; white; oblanceolate; unlobed; 2.5–3 mm long. Stamens 10; stamen filaments glabrous. Anthers yellow; ellipsoid; 0.2–0.4 mm long. Ovary superior; carpels 3; syncarpous. Ovaries ovate; glabrous. Styles 3; free; 1–1.5 mm long. Stigmas per ovary 1. Placentation free central. Ovules per ovary 15–30. Fruit with calyx persisting; dry; a capsule; ovoid; straw-coloured; 3.5–4.5 mm long (distinctly longer than the sepals); 1–1.5 mm wide; surface appearing veinless; dehiscent; opening with teeth at the top of the capsule; teeth 3. Seeds numerous; 0.4–0.7 mm long; brown; surfaces verrucose.

Chromosome information. 2n = 24 (26).

2n (2x) = 24. Packer, in Löve and Löve (1961a, northwestern Canada); Packer (1964, northwestern Canada); Favarger (1962a, Norway); Mosquin and Hayley (1966, northern Canada); Hedberg (1967, northern Canada); Johnson and Packer (1968, northwestern Alaska); Mulligan and Porsild (1969, 1970, Yukon); Engelskjøn and Knaben (1971, Norway); Löve and Löve, in Löve (1975a, for 'rubella' and 'propinqua', 1982, Canada); Zhukova et al. (1977, northeastern Asia); Halliday, in Engelskjøn (1979, Norway); Zhukova and Petrovsky (1980, western Chukotka); Zhukova (1982, southern Chukotka); Dalgaard (1989, western Greenland);

2n (2x) = 26. Sørensen and Westergaard, in Löve and Löve (1948, Greenland); Löve and Löve (1956, Iceland); Jørgensen et al. (1958, Greenland); Zhukova (1966, northeastern Asia).

Ploidy levels recorded 2x.

Ecology and habitat. Substrates: hummocks, along streams, river terraces, slopes, ridges, cliffs; dry, moderately well-drained areas; gravel, sand, till; with low organic content; calcareous.

North American distribution. Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories Islands, continental Northwest Territories, Nunavut Islands, continental Nunavut, northern Quebec, Labrador. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago widespread. Common. Arctic, alpine. Arctic islands: Baffin, Devon, Ellesmere, Axel Heiberg, Parry islands (Bathurst, Ellef Ringnes, Emerald, Lougheed, Melville, Prince Patrick), Cornwallis, Banks, Victoria, Prince of Wales, Somerset, King William, Southampton (Akpatok, Digges, Hans, Stefansson and Resolution islands and Melville Peninsula).

Northern hemisphere distribution. Circumpolar, or circumboreal (arctic-alpine). Northern Iceland, Northern Fennoscandian, Kanin–Pechora, Svalbard – Franz Joseph Land, Polar Ural – Novaya Zemlya, Yamal–Gydan, Taimyr – Severnaya Zemlya, Anabar–Olenyok, Kharaulakh, Yana–Kolyma, West Chukotka, Wrangel Island, South Chukotka (?), East Chukotka, West Alaska, North Alaska – Yukon, Central Canada, Labrador – Hudson Bay, Ellesmere Land – Peary Land, West Greenland, East Greenland.

General notes. Glabrous or almost glabrous plants which have been treated as Arenaria propinqua Richardson occur scattered in otherwise normal populations and probably do not deserve taxonomic recognition (Elven et al. 2003).

Illustrations. • Habitat: Baffin Island, Ogac Lake. Plant growing between the markers in a dry rocky slope beside the lake shore. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Ogac Lake. 12 July, 2004. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–080. CAN 586552. • Close-up of plant. Plant in fruit, growing in dry, sun-baked dolomite gravel. Manitoba, Churchill, Beech Bay, in the tidal estuary of the Churchill River, south of the Port, 58°44.30'N, 94°08.06'W. Aiken and Brysting 01–034. CAN. • Habitat. Plants growing in crevices among the rocks. Nunavut, Southampton Island, Salliq (Coral Harbour), rocky outcrop between the Northern Store and the coast, 64°08'13"N, 83°09'53"W. Aiken and Brysting 01–070. CAN. Scale bar in cm. • Habitat: Dorset. Plant to the left of the marker setting fruit. Plants were growing among rocks on Kinggait Mountain. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Cape Dorset. 3 August, 2005. Aiken. No voucher. • Flowering stem and basal leaves. Note linear mainly basal leaves, opposite leaves without petioles, petals nearly the same length as the calyx and remaining within the calyx after the capsule has split open. Annie Archambault AA291. CAN 586987. • Close-up of plant. Flowering plant growing in a crevice among rocks. Nunavut, Southampton Island, Salliq (Coral Harbour), at rocky outcrop between the Northern Store and the coast, 64°08'13"N, 83°09'53"W. Aiken and Brysting 01–070. CAN. Scale bar in cm. • Close-up of leaves. Leaves 4–6 mm long, lanceolate and acute. Note the margins with glandular hairs. Manitoba, Churchill, Beech Bay, in the tidal estuary of the Churchill River, south of the Port, 58°44.30'N, 94°08.06'W. Aiken and Brysting 01–034. CAN. • Close-up of leaves. Leaves with three main nerves, easily seen in old or dried leaves. Manitoba, Churchill, Beech Bay, in the tidal estuary of the Churchill River, south of the Port, 58°44.30'N, 94°08.06'W. Aiken and Brysting 01–034. CAN. • Close-up of stem. Flowering stems with glandular hairs. Manitoba, Churchill, Beech Bay, in the tidal estuary of the Churchill River, south of the Port, 58°44.30'N, 94°08.06'W. Aiken and Brysting 01–034. CAN. • Close-up of flowers. Flower with four petals (usually five). Note the 10 stamens and 3 styles. Manitoba, Churchill, Beech Bay, in the tidal estuary of the Churchill River, south of the Port, 58°44.30'N, 94°08.06'W. Aiken and Brysting 01–034. CAN. • Close-up of flowers. Flowers with five unlobed petals, five pinkish pre-anthesis anthers opposite the petals, and a whorl of five deep pink anthers over the developing style. Note the three uppermost flowers with three developed stigmas. N.W.T., Banks Island, Aulavik National Park, Thomsen River. 9 July, 1999. Aiken 99–032. • Close-up of fruit. Capsule straw-coloured and opening with three teeth. Manitoba, Churchill, Beech Bay, in the tidal estuary of the Churchill River, south of the Port, 58°44.30'N, 94°08.06'W. Aiken and Brysting 01–034. CAN. • Close-up of fruit. Capsule straw-coloured and opening with 3 teeth. Note the persistent calyx. Manitoba, Churchill, Beech Bay, in the tidal estuary of the Churchill River, south of the Port, 58°44.30'N, 94°08.06'W. Aiken and Brysting 01–034. CAN. • Close-up of glands. Surface of the stems covered with glandular hairs. Petals remain within the calyx after the capsule has split into 3 sections. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Kimmirut. August, 2005. Annie Archambault. AA291. CAN 586987. • Drawing of plant. Capsule, opening with three teeth, is distinctly longer than the calyx. Drawing by Mrs. S. Bergh and Mrs. L. Barstad based on a collection from Svalbard, Nordenskiöld Land. With permission of the Botanical Museum, University of Oslo, Norway. • 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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