Chaffweed - Centunculus minimus
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Known from scattered locations across the state, though it is rare to uncommon in Montana. May be susceptible to some adverse impacts from human-caused disturbance due to its preference for vernally moist habitats in valley loctions.
Chaffweed is a low, annual herb with prostrate or erect stems, 2-10 cm long, that root at the nodes. The alternate leaves, 5-10 mm long, are egg to spoon-shaped with entire margins. Foliage is glabrous. Solitary, inconspicuous flowers on short stalks occur in the leaf axils. Each flower has a deeply 4-lobed calyx, 2-3 mm long, and a small, pink, 4-lobed, tubular corolla, ca. 1 mm long, that withers on the maturing ovary. There are 4-5 stamens, and the fruit is a globose capsule that is ca. 2 mm long.
Flowering and fruiting June-September.
Glaux maritima is similar but has lower leaves that are opposite each other.
Europe, South America, and in North America irregularly from Nova Scotia to British Columbia and south to Florida, California, and Mexico (except for much of the Rocky Mountains and Great Basin).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Vernally wet, sparsely vegetated soil around ponds and along rivers and streams in the valleys and on the plains.
Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Heidel, B.L., S.V. Cooper and C. Jean. 2000. Plant species of special concern and plant associations of Sheridan County, Montana. Report to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, Montana. 96 p.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.