Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • 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 ).


Perennial, ascending to erect, rhizomed
Leaf: petiole very short or 0; blade ± lanceolate or elliptic; vein 1
Inflorescence: cyme, terminal or axillary; flowers 2–5; pedicels 2–15+ mm
Flower: hypanthium short, obscure; sepals 5, ± free, 2.8–5.5 mm, ± ovate, minutely ciliate; petals 5, 2–8 mm, entire; stamens arising from a disk; styles 3, 2–3 mm
Fruit: capsule, widely ovoid; teeth 6, ± recurved
Seeds few, reddish brown to blackish; appendage ± 0.7 mm, ± elliptic, spongy
Species in genus: 25 species: n temp
Etymology: (P.H.G. Moehring, Danzig naturalist, 1710–1791)
Reference: [McNeill 1980 Rhodora 82:495–502]


M. macrophylla (Hook.) Fenzl

Stem simple to branched, 2–18 mm, ± angled or grooved; hairs minute, peg-like; rhizome slender, branching
Leaves 1.5–5 cm, ± evenly spaced, ± thin; margin smooth to minutely granular, generally ciliate in lower half
Inflorescence: bracts 1–4 mm, margin widely scarious, minutely ciliate; pedicels ascending to erect, sometimes ± spreading in fruit
Flower: sepals acute to acuminate, margin scarious, midrib ± keeled; petals ± round
Fruit black
Seed 1.8–2.2 mm, widely elliptic; tubercles minute, low, rounded
Chromosomes: 2n=48
Ecology: Moist, shaded slopes, rocky ridges, summits, pine and oak forests, serpentine
Elevation: 300–1800 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, n&s High Sierra Nevada, San Francisco Bay Area, Outer South Coast Ranges, Peninsular Ranges
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, ne N.America, New Mexico, Asia
Synonyms: Arenaria m. Hook

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