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Subularia monticola
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Subularia
Species: S. monticola
Binomial name
Subularia monticola
A.Br. ex Schweinf.[1] (1867)[2]
Range of Subularia monticola

Subularia monticola is one of the water loving, annuals of the genus Subularia in the mustard family Brassicaceae. It lives in the cool, moist high elevations of Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zaire.[1][3]



Subularia monticola forms cushions or mats in moist areas in upland rainforests and moorland, such as the edges of ponds and bogs, or muddy footpaths,[4][1] though it may grow underwater in some cases.[1] It can form mats in permanently wet areas.[1] It is a short-lived plant that lacks leaves in its early development, instead having just a stem and taproot. It grows to 5 to 16 centimeters (2 to 6 inches). It produces tiny white flowers.[4]


Subularia monticola is an African high-altitude plant, growing at altitudes of around 2,750 to 4,750 meters (9,000 to 15,600 feet) above sea-level. [1] Some examples will serve to demonstrate the range of environments in which it thrives:

On Mount Kilimanjaro, which is mostly arid, Subularia monticola grows in oases made by rain or melted snow collecting in depressions, where it forms continuous carpets of vegetation alongside Eriocaulon volkensii, Cyperaceae and Bulliarda elatinoides.[5] On Mount Kenya, cracks formed by daily freezing and thawing of ice provide a refuge for Subularia monticola seedlings.[6] It also forms short, dense mats on the occasionally-flooded mudflats around Lake Kimilili, a lake 4150 meters above sea-level on the Kenya-Uganda border. [7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Subularia monticola A.Br. ex Schweinf. record n° 78167" (HTML). African Plants Database. South African National Biodiversity Institute, the Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève and Tela Botanica. Retrieved 2008-05-08.  
  2. ^ Hoffmann, Matthias H. (2003-10-27). "Type specimens of the Brassicaceae in the Herbarium of the Martin-Luther-University Halle Wittenberg (HAL)" (HTML). Martin-Luther-Universität. Retrieved 2008-05-08.  
  3. ^ volume editors, K. Kubitzki and C. Bayer.; K. Kubitzki, K.U. Kramer, P.S. Green, J. G. Rohwer, V. Bittrich, H. Huber, J. W. Kadereit, C. Jeffrey (2002). "Cruciferae". The families and genera of vascular plants. Springer Science+Business Media. ISBN 3540428739. OCLC 163376730. Retrieved 2008-05-08.  
  4. ^ a b H. Peter Linder and Berit Gehrke (2 March 2006). "Common plants of the Rwenzori, particularly the upper zones" (PDF). Institute for Systematic Botany, University of Zurich. Retrieved 2008-05-06.  
  5. ^ Schimper, Andreas Franz Wilhelm; William Rogers Fisher, Percy Groom, Isaac Bayley Balfour (1903). "Mountain Regions in the Tropics". in Translation of Pflanzen-geographie auf physiologischer Grundlage by William Rogers Fisher (HTML). Plant-geography Upon a Physiological Basis. Clarendon Press. Retrieved 2008-05-08.  
  6. ^ Mahaney, William C.; Michael G. Boyer (1988). "Notes on the Morphology and Genesis of Mud Polygons on Mount Kenya, East Africa" (PDF). Géographie physique et Quaternaire 42 (1): 89–96. Retrieved 2008-05-08.  
  7. ^ with five additional contributions on environmental topics in Southern and Northern Africa and on the Arabian Peninsula. Guest editor, Jürgen Runge.; International Union for Quaternary Research Congress, Klaus Heine, Jurge Runge (2001). "Section 2". Proceedings of the XVth INQUA Conference, Durban, South Africa, 3-11 August 1999. Taylor & Francis. pp. 330 pages. ISBN 9058093506. OCLC 183120063.  

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