Directory       News       Site Map       Home
    Jepson eFlora
Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.


Annual, perennial herb, erect to mat-forming; taproot or rhizomes present. Leaf: blade linear to ovate; vein 1; axillary leaf clusters generally 0. Inflorescence: terminal or axillary; flowers few to many, open to dense; pedicels 1–36+ mm. Flower: sepals (4)5, 3–12 mm, free, lanceolate to ovate, hairy to glandular-hairy, hairs generally not exceeding tip; petals 0 or (4)5, 2.5–15 mm, ± 2-lobed, white [purple tinged]; stamens (4,5)10; styles (4)5, 0.5–3.3 mm. Fruit: capsule, cylindric, often ± curved in upper 1/2; teeth (8)10, spreading to recurved. Seed: several to many, pale to red-brown.
± 180 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate. (Greek: horn, from fruit shape) [Morton 2005 FNANM 5:74–93]

Key to Cerastium

1. Annual (or appearing so); stems generally all flowering, ascending to erect

2. Calyx 8.5–12 mm; fruit 14–22 mm; seeds 0.9–1.1 mm ..... C. dichotomum

2' Calyx 3–7 mm; fruit 3.5–11 mm; seeds ± 0.4–1 mm

3. Upper bracts scarious-margined; scarious margin of most outer sepals 0.2–0.6 mm wide ..... C. fontanum subsp. vulgare (2)

3' Upper bracts not scarious (rarely with minute scarious tip); scarious margin of most outer sepals < 0.1 mm wide

4. Flower parts 4(5); sepals with 0 hairs exceeding tip; bracts not scarious or rarely with minute scarious tip; pedicels in fruit generally > sepals ..... [C. diffusum]

4' Flower parts 5; sepals with some hairs exceeding tip by 0.2–0.8 mm; bracts not scarious; pedicels in fruit (except lowest) < sepals ..... C. glomeratum

1' Perennial herb; stems both non-flowering (mat-forming) and flowering (± erect)

5. Petals 1.5 mm < to 0.5 mm > sepals ..... C. fontanum subsp. vulgare (2)

5' Petals ± 1.2–6 mm > sepals

6. Leaves not clustered in flower stem axils; petals 1.2–2.8 mm > sepals; fruit 5.5–8.5 mm; seeds 0.7–0.8 mm; 2900–4300 m ..... C. beeringianum

6' Leaves clustered in flower stem axils, especially below; petals 3–6 mm > sepals; fruit (7.5) 9–16 mm; seeds ± 1–1.5 mm; < 2500 m

7. Stems 5–20(30) cm; petals 7.5–9 mm; sepals 4.2–6(7) mm ..... C. arvense subsp. strictum

7' Stems 15–45 cm; petals 10–15 mm; sepals 6–9 mm ..... C. viride


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
We encourage links to these pages, but the content may not be downloaded for reposting, repackaging, redistributing, or sale in any form, without written permission from The Jepson Herbarium.