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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, ascending to erect, taprooted. Leaf: basal blades oblanceolate to spoon-shaped, short-petioled; cauline blades narrowly oblanceolate to oblong-ovate, sessile; vein 1. Inflorescence: terminal, umbel-like; flowers 3–12; involucre bracts 5–15, ± 0.3–1.8 mm; pedicels 0.5–2.5 cm. Flower: sepals 5, 2.5–4.5 mm, lanceolate to ovate, glabrous; petals 5, 3.3–5 mm, ± irregularly toothed; stamens 3–5; styles 3, 0.5–1.5 mm. Fruit: capsule, ovoid or ovoid-cylindric, straight; teeth 6, recurved. Seed: many, red-brown.
3–4 species: temperate Eurasia, northern Africa. (Greek: all bone, humorous reference to frailty of plant) [Rabeler & Hartman 2005 FNANM 5:94–95]

H. umbellatum L. subsp. umbellatum
Plant 5–25 cm. Stem: 1–many, unbranched, glandular-hairy ± near middle. Leaf: cauline 1–4 pairs in lower 1/2; blades 2–30 mm, glabrous or margin glandular-hairy. Inflorescence: bracts whorled, 1–2 mm, partly scarious; pedicels slender, reflexed in flower, erect in fruit. Flower: petals narrowly elliptic, white. Seed: 0.7–0.8 mm, compressed, with marginal ridge opposite elongate depression; tubercles low, rounded.
2n=20,40. Uncommon. Disturbed areas, roadsides; < 1270 m. Klamath Ranges, Cascade Range, Central Coast?, Modoc Plateau; to British Columbia, eastern North America; native to Europe; central and southwestern Asia; northern Africa. Late winter–early spring [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: 4 other subspecies, native to Europe, central and southwestern Asia, northern Africa, introduced in South America, western Europe, southern Africa.

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

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Holosteum umbellatum subsp. umbellatum 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.