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 L.

Caryophyllaceae, Pink family.

Published in Sp. Pl. 89. 1753.

Synonymy. Alsinanthe (Fenzl) Rchb., Icon. Fl. Germ. Helv. 5: 29, t. 209. 1841.

Tryphane (Fenzl.) Rchb., Icon. Fl. Germ. Helv. 5: 28, t. 205. 1841.

Lidia Á. Löve and D. Löve, Bot. Not. 128: 510. 1976.

Porsildia Á. Löve and D. Löve, Bot. Not. 128: 509. 1976.

Vegetative morphology. Plants 1–10(–20) cm high; perennial herbs; caespitose (usually), or not caespitose; sometimes vegetatively proliferating by bulbils on stems or leaves, or never vegetatively proliferating by bulbils on stems or leaves, in inflorescences, from gemmiphores and gemmae, or by fragmentation. Taproot present. Ground level or underground stems horizontal, or absent; stoloniferous; compact, or elongate; 0.5–1.5 mm wide. Horizontal stems at ground level, branching extensively to shape plant habit as mats, or cushions. Caudex absent. Aerial stems erect, or ascending, or decumbent. Aerial stem trichomes spreading, or erect. Leaves distributed along the stems; opposite; marcescent. Petioles absent. Leaf blade bases cuneate. Blades 2–12 mm long, 0.4–2 mm wide, appressed to the stem or spreading or divaricate, linear or elliptic or lanceolate, flat or folded, with three main veins or appearing single-veined or with inconspicuous veins. Blade adaxial surface dull, glabrous. Blade abaxial surface glabrous. Blade margins glabrous or with non-glandular hairs or with glandular hairs; apices acute, or obtuse.

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems 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; terminal. Flowers per inflorescence (1–)2–3(–4); small. Sepals conventional; 5; free; 1.5–4.5(–5.2) mm wide; green, or 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, or same length as the calyx, or longer than the calyx; 5; white and pink; obovate, or oblanceolate, or spatulate; unlobed; 2–4.5(–5.8) mm long. Stamens 10; stamen filaments glabrous. Anthers yellow; ellipsoid; 0.2–0.6 mm long. Ovary superior; carpels 3; syncarpous. Ovaries ovate; glabrous. Styles present; 3; free; 0.4–1.5 mm long. Stigmas per ovary 1. Placentation free central. Ovules per ovary 6–30. Fruit with calyx persisting; dry; a capsule; ellipsoid, or ovoid; yellowish, or straw-coloured; 1–6 mm long; 1–2.2 mm wide; surface appearing veinless; dehiscent; opening with teeth at the top of the capsule; teeth 3. Seeds several; 0.2–1.2 mm long; brown; surfaces smooth, verrucose.

Chromosome information. 2n = 22, or 24, or 26, or 30, or 58, or 60.

Ploidy levels recorded 2x and 4x.

General notes. Canadian authors from Porsild (1957) to Scoggan (1978) have included Minuartia in a more widely circumscribed Arenaria. This treatment follows Elven et al. (2003) in regarding Minuartia as a separate genus.

The genus Minuartia is heterogeneous, and some authors, e.g., Reichenbach (1841–42) and Löve and Löve, in Löve (1975a), have suggested that it should be split into several genera. Minuartia is here treated in its collective sense.

Based on a study of genetic variation in three Minuartia species, Borgen (1999) concluded that M. biflora is a 'mixed mater' (that is, a species that cross-pollinates, and if this fails, can self-pollinate) and M. rubella a self-pollinator. The vegetatively reproducing tetraploid, M. rossii, shows a high degree of fixed heterozygosity. The results suggested that the three species, which are currently placed in separate sections, represent lineages that diverged a long time ago.

Illustrations. • Minuartia biflora. Plant growing in crevices among rocks. Norway, Sør-Trøndelag, Røros, Osthåmmaren (serpentine). June, 1973. Photograph by R. Elven. • Minuartia rossii. Isolated plants growing in an area with less than 5% vegetation cover and flowering on the side receiving the most sunlight. Nunavut, Ellesmere Island, Scoresby Bay, 79°53'N, 71°33'W. Aiken 98–025. CAN. Photograph by Mollie MacCormac. • Minuartia rubella. 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. • Minuartia stricta. Plant collected in polygons in Cassiope-Vaccinium heath. Greenland, Disko, Nordfjord, Stordal, 70°00'N, 54°09'W, alt. 100m. 13 August, 1975. Andersen, Fredskild, and Hanfgarn 514. O.


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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