Montia fontana


An annual to perennial herb of acidic or neutral, seasonally or permanently wet places, including springs and flushes, where it often grows in bryophyte-rich communities, the sides of lakes, rivers and streams, damp tracks and paths and winter-moist sand or gravel. 0-945 m (Mt Brandon, S. Kerry), with unlocalised records from 970 m in the Scottish Highlands.



World Distribution

European Boreo-temperate element; also in C. & E. Asia and N. America.

© Shannon, P

Broad Habitats

Fen, marsh and swamp (not wooded)

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 9

Reaction (Ellenberg): 5

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.4

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.1

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1198

Life form information

Height (cm): 20

Perennation - primary


Perennation - secondary


Life Form - primary

Therophyte (annual land plant)

Life Form - secondary

Perennial hydrophyte (perennial water plant)

Comment on Life Form

"an irregular lifestyle, wintergreen and also be annual"



Clonality - primary

Shortly creeping and rooting at nodes

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2197

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 547

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14

Atlas Change Index: 0.14

Weighted Changed Factor: 4

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (80a)
Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
Hultén, E., and Fries M.
, Königstein, (1986)

Jalas & Suominen (1980)
Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols,
Meusel, H., Jäger E., and Weinert E.
, Jena, (1965)

Montia fontana L,
Walters, S. M.
, Watsonia, Volume 3, p.1-6, (1953)