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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, erect, taprooted; dioecious. Leaf: stipules 0.8–3.5 mm, triangular, scarious, jagged to ciliate, white; blade linear to lanceolate or oblanceolate; vein 1, obscure. Inflorescence: axillary; flowers 1–4, sessile. Flower: unisexual (appearing bisexual); hypanthium in fruit conic to urn-shaped, abruptly expanded above; sepals 5, free, 1.1–2.1 mm, elliptic to round, ± glabrous, margin wide, scarious, white; petals 0; stamens 5, sterile in pistillate flower, 1–1.5 mm, oblong, petal-like, on hypanthium rim; nectaries wide; ovary sterile in staminate flower, style 3-branched in upper 1/3, ± 1.5 mm. Fruit: utricle, ± dehiscent, ovoid; valves 3, minute. Seed: 1, tan.
2 species: southwestern United States, Mexico. (Greek: fond of high places) [Hartman 2005 FNANM 5:47–48] Flower, seed suggest possible unification with Achyronychia.
Plant glabrous except base densely woolly. Stem: many, branched above, 10–30 cm. Leaf: blade 8–25 mm, ± fleshy. Flower: 2.2–4.2 mm; hypanthium green, in age brown, thickened, ± hard, ± angled; sepals erect to spreading, ± concave, often unequal, central portion linear to oblong, fleshy, green, margin much wider, entire to irregular, white, deciduous or not. Seed: 0.9–1.1 mm, ovoid, ± compressed, red dot near narrow end.
Uncommon. Limestone outcrops; 1200–1550 m. East of Sierra Nevada, n Mojave Desert, Sonoran Desert; western Nevada, western Arizona. Apr–Jul [Online Interchange]
Previous taxon: Scopulophila
Next taxon: Silene
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Apr 16 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Scopulophila, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=43836, accessed on Apr 16 2014
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