Montia named after Guiseppe Monti (1682-1760), an Italian chemist and botanist, Professor of Botany and Director of the Bologna botanic garden. Fontana from Latin meaning fountain or spring; referring to the species habitat in wet areas. Chondrosperma from the Greek 'chondros' meaning grain and 'sperma' meaning seed; possibly referring to the tiny grain-like seeds.
Distribution and status
Found mainly in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia, growing in moist areas along stream margins and wetlands. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, New Zealand, North and South America and Europe Native. Very rare in South Australia. Rare in New South Wales. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: Southern Lofty, Green Adelaide
NRM region: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Annual herb to 20 cm high with ascending to erect stems, sometimes rooting at the nodes. Leaves oblanceolate to obovate, to 15 mm long, 4 mm wide. Flowers both solitary and in clusters with white flowers. Flowering between September and November. Fruits are pale brown capsules to 2 mm long on a long stalk. Seeds are black ovoid seed to 1.2 mm diameter, covered in circular rounded tubercules. Seed embryo type is peripheral.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between October and January. Collect mature capsules, those that are turning yellow or pale brown colour and contain black seeds. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 80%.
|Location||No. of seeds|
|BGA||10,700 (4.13 g)||30||10-Oct-2007||RJB74180|
|BGA||3,600 (1.1 g)||100+||2-Nov-2016||DJD3549|
|1-Nov-2017||80%||+5°C, -18°C, -80°C|
|BGA||500 (0.14 g)||20||6-Oct-2017||KHB982|
|BGA||220 (0.071 g)||5||1-Nov-2017||DJD3549|
|Date||Result||T0||T50||Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod|
Incubated under winter conditions
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions