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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, erect to prostrate; taprooted, rhizomed. Stem: 4-angled or round. Leaf: petioled or not; linear to ovate, vein 1. Inflorescence: terminal or axillary, umbel-like or not, open to dense; flowers 1–many (if 1, axillary); peduncles, pedicels 0.8–50+ mm. Flower: sepals (4)5, free, 1.5–5.5 mm, lanceolate to ovate, glabrous to glandular-hairy; petals 0 or (1)5, 0.8–7 mm, 2-lobed > 1/2 to base; stamens 10 or fewer; styles 3(4–5 in Stellaria calycantha), 0.2–2.8 mm. Fruit: capsule, ± ovoid or spheric to cylindric-oblong; valves 6(8,10), ascending to recurved. Seed: several to many, brown to ± yellow, ± red, or purple-brown.
± 190 species: worldwide. (Latin: star, from flower shape) [Morton 2005 FNANM 5:96–114] Presence of papillae on leaf margins determined at 20×.
Unabridged references: [Chinnappa & Morton 1991 Rhodora 93:129–135; Morton & Rabeler 1989 Canad J Bot 67:121–127; Morton 2005 FNANM 5:96–114]

Key to Stellaria

S. borealis Bigelow subsp. sitchana (Steud.) Piper & Beattie SITKA STARWORT
Perennial herb, sprawling to erect, 15–50 cm, ± glabrous; rhizome white. Stem: internodes generally finely papillate. Leaf: ± evenly spaced; blade 15–45 mm, ± lanceolate to widely so; margin papillate, flat, dull, sometimes ciliate near base. Inflorescence: terminal or axillary, several to many-flowered; bracts leaf-like; pedicels erect to ascending, in fruit curved to reflexed. Flower: sepals 5, 3–3.5 mm, < 4.5 mm in fruit, lanceolate, acute, glabrous, margin ± widely scarious, ribs in fruit generally 3, prominent; petals (0)1–5, 0.5–0.8 × sepals; styles generally 0.9–1.6 mm, slender, straight (often contorted on dried specimens). Seed: 1–1.2 mm, dark red-brown, tubercles low, elongate.
2n=52. Sedge stands, meadows, streambanks, swamps, moist woodland; < 2100 m. North Coast, Outer North Coast Ranges, High Cascade Range, c&s Sierra Nevada Foothills, High Sierra Nevada, Central Coast; to Alaska, Montana, South Dakota, Utah. [Stellaria calycantha (Ledeb.) Bong. var. sitchana (Steud.) Fernald; Stellaria sitchana Steud. var. bongardiana (Fernald) Hultén; Stellaria calycantha var. bongardiana (Fernald) Fernald; Stellaria borealis Bigelow var. bongardiana Fernald] Plants from > 1000 m in central and southern Sierra Nevada Foothills, High Sierra Nevada often have ovate-elliptic leaves and resemble Stellaria crispa. Stellaria borealis subsp. borealis erroneously reported for California in FNANM (Morton 2005). May–Sep [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: 1 other subsp., Nevada to Alaska, Greenland, northeastern United States (except plains states).

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Stellaria, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Stellaria borealis subsp. sitchana 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.