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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

California Waterwort - Elatine californica

Status Under Review
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR
C-value: 6

Agency Status


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General Description
California Waterwort is a dwarf, glabrous, submerged or terrestrial annual herb which freely roots at the nodes and forms small mats or becomes more elongate when under water. Montana material is up to 1.5 dm long and upright. The opposite, linear to spatula shaped, entire margined leaves are usually less than or slightly longer than 1 cm long. The minute flowers are borne solitary on short pedicels (stalks) in the leaf margins and have 4 sepals, 4 petals, 8 stamens, and a single pistil. The mature fruits are 4-celled, thin-walled, pedicellate capsules the size of a pinhead. The mature seeds are regularly reticulate and are curved either to an approximate right angle or like the letter "J."

Flowering in July-August.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Distinguished from other Montana Elatine by having pedicellate flowers and capsules with parts in sets of 4 rather than 2 or 3, and by having conspicuously curved seeds.

Species Range

Range Comments
WA to western MT, south to CA and AZ. Peripheral.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 7

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Shallow waters and mudflats along edges of wetlands.

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Citation for data on this website:
California Waterwort — Elatine californica.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from