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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Ronald L. Hartman (except Silene)

Annual, biennial, perennial herb, rarely dioecious, taprooted or rhizome generally slender
Leaves simple, generally opposite; stipules generally 0; petiole generally 0; blade entire, sheath generally 0
Inflorescence: cyme, generally open; flowers few–many or flower solitary and axillary; involucre generally 0
Flower generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium sometimes present; sepals generally 5, ± free or fused into a tube, tube generally herbaceous between lobes or teeth; awns generally 0; petals generally 5 or 0, generally tapered to base (or with claw long, blade expanded), entire to 2–several-lobed, blade generally without scale-like appendages (inner surface), generally without ear-like lobes at base; stamens generally 10, generally fertile, generally free, generally from ovary base; nectaries generally 0; ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, placentas basal or free-central, styles 2–5 or 1 and 2–3-branched
Fruit: capsule or utricle (rarely modified, dehiscent), generally sessile
Seeds: appendage generally 0
Genera in family: 85 genera, 2400 species: widespread, especially arctic, alpine, temp, n hemisphere; some cultivated (Agrostemma, Arenaria, Cerastium, Dianthus, Gypsophila, Lychnis, Saponaria, Silene, Vaccaria ).


Annual, ± prostrate, taprooted
Leaves opposite below, alternate above; stipules 0.4–1 mm, ovate to deltate, scarious, ciliate, white; blade oblanceolate to obovate; vein 0–1
Inflorescence: cyme, axillary; flowers 3–10, dense, ± sessile
Flower: hypanthium cup-like, not abruptly expanded above; sepals 5, 0.6–1.2 mm, free, lanceolate to oblong, hairy, margin entire, herbaceous; petals 0; fertile stamens 2–5, sterile stamens 4–5, ± 0.5 mm, ± thread-like, arising from hypanthium rim; styles 2 or 2-branched in upper 2/3, 0.1–0.4 mm
Fruit: utricle, obovoid
Seed 1, dark reddish brown
Species in genus: 20 species: Eur, s Asia, Africa
Etymology: (Latin: rupture, 1 sp. being a supposed cure)
Reference: [Chaudhri 1968 Meded Bot Mus Herb Rijks Univ Utrecht 285:297–398]


H. hirsuta L.

Stem generally 4–20 cm
Leaf: stipules 0.4–1 mm; blade 1–13 mm
Inflorescence: flowers 3–8
Flower: sepals ± equal to unequal; stamens 2–5; styles 2 or 2-branched
Fruit minutely papillate
Seed ± compressed, smooth; margin with prominent rim
Ecology: Disturbed, sandy or clay soils
Elevation: < 1750 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, c&s Sierra Nevada Foothills, c High Sierra Nevada, San Joaquin Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast
Distribution outside California: native to s Europe, n Africa, sw Asia

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