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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

Perennial herb, prostrate (non-flowering stems) or ascending to erect to mat-forming, taprooted. Leaf: needle-like to narrowly linear; vein 1. Inflorescence: terminal, open to head- or umbel-like; flowers 1–many; peduncles, pedicels 0–55 mm. Flower: hypanthium present; sepals 5, ± free, 3–7.2 mm, lance-linear to ovate, glabrous to glandular-hairy; petals 5, 2–18 mm, entire or ± notched; stamens on hypanthium; ovary ± superior, styles 3, 2.5–3 mm. Fruit: capsule, ovoid to urn-shaped; teeth 6, ascending to recurved. Seed: 1–9, ± gray, dark brown, red-brown, yellow-tan, black-purple, or ± black.
90 species: northern temperate, especially western North America, Eurasia. (Greek: solitary or deserted + seed, allusion uncertain) [Hartman & Rabeler 2004 Sida 21:237–241] Based in part on molecular evidence (Harbaugh et al. 2010 Intl J Plant Sci 171:185–198), 2 subgenera of Arenaria treated here as Eremogone.
Unabridged synonyms: [Arenaria subg. Eremogone (Fenzl) Fenzl, Arenaria subg. Eremogoneastrum F. Williams]
Unabridged references: [Hartman, Rabeler, & Utech 2005 FNANM 5:56–70]

Key to Eremogone

E. macradenia (S. Watson) Ikonn. MOJAVE or DESERT SANDWORT
Perennial herb, tufted, green. Stem: 20–40 cm, rounded, ± dull, glandular-hairy or not. Leaf: 20–60 mm, 0.5–2 mm wide, blunt to sharp-pointed, vein 1. Inflorescence: terminal, generally open; flowers several to many; pedicels 3–55 mm. Flower: sepals 4.5–7.2 mm, in fruit < 8 mm, acute to acuminate; petals 6–11 mm; nectaries rectangular, 2-lobed or truncate, 0.7–1.5 mm. Fruit: 6–7 mm. Seed: 4–9, 1.8–2.7 mm, ± spheric to ovate, compressed, red-brown to ± black; tubercles low, rounded to conic. [Arenaria macradenia S. Watson] [Online Interchange]

E. macradenia var. arcuifolia (Maguire) R.L. Hartm. & Rabeler
Leaf: downcurved, 0.8–2 mm wide. Inflorescence: branches (and sepals) ± glabrous to densely glandular-hairy. Flower: sepals 4.5–7 mm, in fruit < 8 mm.
Dry, often gravelly (decomposing granite) canyon slopes, dry yellow-pine and oak forests, ridges, summits; 650–2400 m. s Sierra Nevada, Western Transverse Ranges, San Gabriel Mountains. [Arenaria macradenia S. Watson var. arcuifolia Maguire; Arenaria macradenia var. kuschei (Eastw.) Maguire] Based on recent collections, Eremogone macradenia var. kuschei (Eastw.) R.L. Hartm. & Rabeler, recognized by densely glandular-hairy inflorescence and sepals, intergrades completely with Eremogone macradenia var. arcuifolia, previously considered largely glabrous (Ross & Boyd 1996 Crossosoma 22: 65–71). Jun–Jul [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Eremogone, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Eremogone macradenia var. arcuifolia 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.