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Ronald L. Hartman & Richard K. Rabeler, except as noted

Annual to perennial herb; rarely dioecious (Silene), taprooted or rhizome generally slender. Leaf: simple, generally opposite (subwhorled), entire, pairs at nodes often ± connected at bases; stipules generally 0; petiole generally 0. Inflorescence: generally cyme, generally open; flowers 1–many; involucre generally 0 (present in Dianthus, Petrorhagia). Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium often present but obscure; sepals (4)5, ± free or fused into a tube, margins generally scarious, more so on inner 2 or not, tube generally not scarious, awns generally 0; petals (4)5 or 0, generally tapered to base (or with claw long, limb expanded), entire to 2–several-lobed, limb generally without scale-like appendages adaxially, generally without ear-like lobes at base; stamens generally 10, generally fertile, generally free, generally from ovary base; nectaries 0 or 5; ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, placentas basal or free-central, styles 2–5 with 0 branches or 1 with 2–3 branches. Fruit: capsule or utricle (rarely ± dehiscent), generally sessile. Seed: appendage generally 0 (present in Moehringia).
83 or 89 genera, 3000 species: widespread, especially arctic, alpine, temperate northern hemisphere; some cultivated (Agrostemma, Arenaria, Cerastium, Dianthus, Gypsophila, Lychnis, Sagina, Saponaria, Silene, Vaccaria). [Rabeler & Hartman 2005 FNANM 5:3–215] Apetalous Caryophyllaceae can also be keyed in Rabeler & Hartman 2005 FNANM 5:5–8. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Caryophyllaceae

Perennial herb, ± prostrate, taprooted. Leaf: stipules 4–8 mm, lanceolate to ovate, scarious, ± entire, white; blade needle-like; vein 1. Inflorescence: axillary; flowers 1–5, ± sessile. Flower: hypanthium cup-shaped, not abruptly expanded above; sepals 5, free, 1.2–2.8 mm (except awn), oblong to obovate, densely woolly, margin scarious below, awn 1.5–4 mm, stout, spine-tipped; petals 5, 0.3–0.5 mm, scale-like; stamens 3–5, on hypanthium rim; styles 2, 0.2 mm. Fruit: utricle, elliptic. Seed: 1, tan.
6 species: western North America, western South America. (Greek: heart thread, from stamen shape) [Hartman 2005 FNANM 5:45–46]

C. ramosissimum (Weinm.) A. Nelson & J.F. Macbr.
Stem: 5–30+ cm, often ± covered by stipules. Leaf: 5–13 mm, finely spine-tipped, glabrous. Flower: sepal margin incurved near tip. Seed: 1.4–1.6 mm, narrowly ovate, not compressed.
Sandy beaches, hills, dunes, bluffs; < 400 m. North Coast, Central Coast, South Coast, n Channel Islands, Peninsular Ranges; to Washington, Mexico; South America. Spring–early summer [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Cardionema, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Cardionema ramosissimum Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.