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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 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

S. macrotheca (Cham. & Schltdl.) Heynh. STICKY SAND-SPURREY
Plant strongly perennial herb, stout. Stem: lower main 0.8–3 mm diam. Leaf: fleshy; 0–2+ per axillary cluster; stipules 4.5–11 mm, ± conspicuous, narrowly triangular, dull white to tan, tip long-acuminate. Inflorescence: simple or 1–3+ × compound or flowers 1 in axils; glandular-hairy. Flower: sepals fused 0.5–1.8 mm, lobes 4.5–7 mm, in fruit < 8 mm; petals white or pink to rosy or blue; stamens 9–10; styles 0.5–3 mm. Fruit: 4.6–10 mm, 0.8–1.4 × calyx. Seed: ± red-brown, generally winged; smooth, tubercled, or sculpture worm-like or of low rounded mounds, not papillate. [Online Interchange]

S. macrotheca var. leucantha (Greene) B.L. Rob.
Plant 10–40 cm. Flower: calyx lobes 4.5–5.5 mm, in fruit < 6.5 mm; petals white; styles 1.2–1.9 mm. Fruit: 1.2–1.4 × calyx. Seed: 0.7–0.8 mm.
Alkaline soils, floodplains, vernal pools, meadows, marshy ground; < 800 m. Great Central Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, Outer South Coast Ranges, South Coast, Mojave Desert. Apr–Jun [Online Interchange]

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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. Spergularia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 30 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Spergularia macrotheca var. leucantha 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.