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Arenaria congesta var. lithophila

Definition of the noun Arenaria congesta var. lithophila

What does Arenaria congesta var. lithophila mean as a name of something?

Arenaria congesta var. lithophila is the scientific name for loosehead sandwort / rock-loving sandwort, a variety of Arenaria.

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Arenaria congesta var. lithophila

Arenaria congesta var. lithophila

The sagebrush steppe within the boundary of the National Battlefield is particularly rich in native shrub, grass, and herb (forb) species, much more so than outside Battlefield where grazing is variably intensive. Ballhead sandwort in this area and most of Montana has a much more open panicle and not a tight flowering head; hence the variety lithophila, which means "rock loving" but in reality this species occurs on many substrates from gravelly and sandy to loamy. The basal leaf bunch can be very loose and grass-like and blend in with the dominant graminoids in this area, Agropyron spicatum, Festuca idahoensis, and Carex filifolia.

Photo credit: Matt Lavin

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