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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, erect, taprooted. Leaf: blade linear to narrowly lanceolate; vein 1 or lateral pair faint. Inflorescence: terminal; flowers 1–few; peduncles, pedicels 4–20+ cm. Flower: sepals 5, fused, hairs long, ascending, appressed, tube prominent, 12–17 mm, 7–12 mm diam, ovoid to widely cylindric, round in ×-section, strongly 10-ribbed, lobes generally 12–50 mm, > tube, linear; petals 5, 24–40 mm, claw long, limb entire or notched; styles 5, 10–12 mm. Fruit: capsule, ovoid; teeth 5, ascending. Seed: many, black.
2 species: Mediterranean Europe. (Greek: field garland) [Thieret 2005 FNANM 5:214–215]

A. githago L. var. githago
Plant 30–90+ cm; hairs dense, long, silky, ± appressed. Stem: simple or sparingly branched above. Leaf: 5–15 cm. Inflorescence: leafy. Flower: sepals green; petals exserted 10–20 mm, obovate, rounded to truncate, purple-red; stamens exserted 8–10 mm. Seed: 3–3.5 mm, widely ovate; tubercles thin, triangular.
2n=48. Disturbed areas; < 1000 m. Inner North Coast Ranges, n Sierra Nevada, Sacramento Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast; to Washington, Montana, eastern North America; native to southern Europe. Evidently eradicated from grain fields. Spring–summer [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: 2 other varieties, native to Eurasia, introduced in South America, southern Africa, New Zealand, Australia.

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Agrostemma, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Agrostemma githago var. githago 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.