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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, taprooted or rhizomed. Leaf: blade thread-like to awl-shaped or narrowly oblong; veins or ribs 1–3. Inflorescence: terminal or axillary, open to ± dense; flowers 1–many; peduncles, pedicels 0.5–35+ mm. Flower: hypanthium short, obscure; sepals 5, ± free, 1.9–7 mm, ± lanceolate to ovate, glabrous to glandular-hairy; petals 5 or 0, 0.7–10 mm, entire or notched; stamens on an obscure to prominent disk; styles 3, 0.3–2 mm. Fruit: capsule, narrowly ovoid to widely elliptic; valves 3, ascending to recurved. Seed: 1–many, red-tan to red-, purple-, or black-brown.
175 species: arctic to Mexico, northern Africa, southern Asia. (J. Minuart, Spanish botanist, pharmacist, 1693–1768) [Rabeler et al. 2005 FNANM 5:116–136]
Unabridged references: [Meinke & Zika 1992 Madroño 39: 288–300]

Key to Minuartia

1. Annual, not cespitose, not mat-forming

2. Inflorescence ± glandular-hairy; leaf (5)10–30 mm; seed 1.3–2 mm

3. Leaves ± evenly spaced, thread-like, generally 0.3 mm wide, flexible, becoming curled; seeds red-brown, margin thin, wing-like ..... M. douglasii

3' Leaves mostly near base, lance-linear, 1–1.5(2.5) mm wide, rigid, recurved; seeds brown to black-brown, margin thick, not wing-like ..... M. howellii

2' Inflorescence glabrous; leaf 1.5–7(10) mm; seed 0.4–1 mm

4. Petals < sepals or 0; plant 1–5 cm; leaf, sepal with generally 1, often faint vein ..... M. pusilla

4' Petals 1–1.8 × sepals; plant (1)2–20(25) cm; leaf abaxially with 1 faint vein or 3 veins with 1 prominent, sepal with ± 3 faint veins or 3 or 5 prominent ribs

5. Petals 1.5–1.8 × sepals; leaf vein1, faint abaxially; sepal with 3 faint veins, lateral pair rarely extending to tip ..... M. californica

5' Petals 1–1.3 × sepals; lf veins 3, 1 prominent abaxially; sepal with 3 or 5 prominent ribs, lateral pair converging with midrib at tip ..... M. cismontana

1' Perennial herb, cespitose to mat-forming

6. Sepal tip narrowly rounded, margin incurved ..... M. obtusiloba

6' Sepal tip acute to acuminate, margin not incurved

7. Plant ± densely cespitose, stem decumbent to erect; taproot < 1.5 mm diam

8. Petals ± 0.8–1 × sepals; plant glandular-hairy ..... M. rubella

8' Petals 0; plant glabrous ..... M. stricta

7' Plant mat-forming, rhizomes elongate and stem or stolons trailing; taproot > 3 mm diam

9. Plant densely glandular-hairy ..... M. nuttallii

10. Leaf recurved; sepal ribs (1)3, ± equally prominent ..... var. fragilis

10' Leaf straight or ± recurved; sepal ribs 1 or 3, lateral pair 0 or less prominent

11. Petals 0.7–0.9 × sepals; Klamath Ranges, High Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, San Gabriel Mountains, East of Sierra Nevada ..... var. gracilis

11' Petals 1.1–1.6 × sepals; Northwestern California, High Cascade Range, c High Sierra Nevada, Warner Mountains ..... var. gregaria

9' Plant generally glabrous or ± sparsely glandular-hairy especially in inflorescence; stem, leaves ± glabrous

12. Sepals 5–6 mm, in flower generally 3-ribbed; petals 0.7–0.9 × sepals ..... M. decumbens

12' Sepals 2.5–4.8 mm, in flower faintly 1–3-veined; petals 1.4–2.2 × sepals

13. Plant glaucous; flower stem from branching rhizomes; leaves > internodes; axillary leaves well developed ..... M. rosei

13' Plant gray-green; flower stem from stolons; leaves often < internodes; axillary leaves weakly developed ..... M. stolonifera


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].
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