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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

Annual, perennial herb, tufted to matted, taprooted. Leaf: linear to awl-shaped, generally not fleshy; vein 0–1. Inflorescence: terminal or axillary; flower 1; pedicels 2–30 mm. Flower: sepals 4–5, free, 1.3–3.5 mm, lanceolate to ovate, glabrous to glandular-hairy; petals 0 or 4–5, 1–3 mm, entire or notched; stamens 4, 5, 8, 10; styles 4–5, 0.1–0.6 mm. Fruit: capsule, ovoid; valves 4–5, spreading to recurved. Seed: many, generally obliquely triangular, ± compressed, brown or red-brown.
± 25 species: northern temperate, tropical mountains. (Latin: fatten, from early use as forage) [Crow 2005 FNANM 5:140–147]

Key to Sagina

S. maxima A. Gray subsp. crassicaulis (S. Watson) G.E. Crow THICK-STEMMED PEARLWORT
Perennial herb 3–18 cm, glabrous; sterile basal rosettes present. Stem: not thread-like, spreading to decumbent. Leaf: fleshy; blade 7–22 mm, widely linear. Inflorescence: pedicels 5–25 mm, slender to stout, generally straight. Flower: sepals 5, ± appressed in fruit, generally 2.5–3.5 mm; petals 5, 3/4–1 × sepals; stamens 10. Fruit: 1.3–1.6 × sepals. Seed: 0.4–0.5 mm, ± reniform, plump, smooth or slightly roughened, red-brown; back not grooved.
2n=46,66. Sandy bluffs, rock crevices; < 30 m. North Coast, Central Coast; to Alaska. [Sagina crassicaulis S. Watson] Spring–early fall [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: 1 other subsp., in Washington, British Columbia, Alaska, eastern Asia.

Previous taxon: Sagina decumbens subsp. occidentalis
Next taxon: Sagina procumbens


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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 30 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Sagina, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 30 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Sagina maxima subsp. crassicaulis 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.