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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 sprawling; taprooted. Leaf: thread-like to linear, vein 1; stipules 1–11 mm, lanceolate to widely triangular, scarious, ± entire or splitting ± at tip, white to tan. Inflorescence: terminal, open to dense; flowers few to many; pedicels 0.5–28+ mm. Flower: sepals 5, united in basal 1/5, 1.5–10 mm, lanceolate to ovate, glabrous to glandular-hairy; petals 5, 0.6–9 mm, entire; stamens 2–10; styles 3, 0.3–1.9 mm. Fruit: capsule, ovoid; valves 3, spreading, tip recurved. Seed: few to many, dark brown, red-brown, or black, often winged.
60 species: western North America, western South America, Mediterranean. (Latin: derivative of Spergula) [Hartman & Rabeler 2005 FNANM 5:16–23]

Key to Spergularia

1. Plant strongly perennial herb; stamens 7–10

2. Seeds 0.4–0.5 mm; calyx lobes 2.5–4 mm, in fruit < 5 mm; styles 0.4–0.6 mm ..... S. villosa

2' Seeds 0.6–0.9 mm; calyx lobes 4.5–7 mm, in fruit < 8 mm; styles 0.6–3 mm ..... S. macrotheca

3. Petals pink to rosy or blue; styles 0.5–1.2 mm ..... var. macrotheca

3' Petals white; styles 1.2–3 mm

4. Fruit 1.2–1.4 × calyx; styles 1.2–1.9 mm ..... var. leucantha

4' Fruit 0.8–1 × calyx; styles 2–3 mm ..... var. longistyla

1' Annual (Spergularia rubra, Spergularia media short-lived perennial herb); stamens 2–10

5. Seeds black, not papillate ..... S. atrosperma

5' Seeds light to dark brown or red-brown, if nearly black, seeds covered with gland-tipped papillae

6. Stamens 6–10

7. Seeds 0.8–1.1 mm, smooth, not papillate, generally winged; fruit (4.5)5.5–8 mm; plant stout, lower main stem generally 1–3 mm diam; leaves clearly fleshy ..... S. media var. media

7' Seeds 0.4–0.6 mm, roughened or variously sculptured, papillate, not winged; fruit 2.7–5.4 mm; plant ± delicate, lower main stem generally 0.3–1 mm diam; leaves barely to ± fleshy

8. Leaves generally 0–2 per axillary cluster, ± fleshy; seeds light brown; stipules generally 1.5–4.5 mm, mostly deltate, dull, white to tan, generally inconspicuous, tip acute to short-acuminate ..... S. bocconi

8' Leaves 2–4+ per axillary cluster, barely fleshy; seeds red-brown to dark brown; stipules generally 3.5–5 mm, lanceolate, shiny, white, conspicuous, tip ± long-acuminate ..... S. rubra

6' Stamens 2–5

9. Seeds 0.9–1.1 mm ..... S. canadensis var. occidentalis

9' Seeds 0.3–0.7(0.8) mm

10. Inflorescence glandular-hairy, 1–3+ × compound or flowers 1 in axils; fruit 2.8–6.4 mm; calyx lobes 2.5–4.5 mm, in fruit < 4.8 mm; seeds 0.5–0.7(0.8) mm ..... S. marina

10' Inflorescence glabrous, generally 4–7+ × compound; fruit 1.4–2.6 mm; calyx lobes 0.9–1.6 mm, in fruit < 2 mm; seeds 0.3–0.4 mm ..... S. platensis var. platensis


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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