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 ).



Annual, perennial herb, erect or ± prostrate, taprooted
Leaf: stipules 1–6 mm, lanceolate to ovate, scarious, ± entire, white; blade elliptic to oblanceolate; vein ± 1
Inflorescence: clusters axillary; flowers 1–12 per cluster, dense; pedicels 0–2 mm
Flower: hypanthium cup-shaped; calyx sometimes abruptly expanded above; sepals 5, free, 0.7–4.4 mm (except awn), lanceolate to ovate, ± hairy, margin narrow, white, scarious; awn thread-like to stiff, wavy to stiff; petals 0; fertile stamens 5, sterile stamens 0 or 5, 0.5–1 mm, thread-like, arising from hypanthium rim; styles 2 or 2-branched in upper 1/2, 0.2–0.5 mm
Fruit: utricle, ovoid to spheric
Seed 1, brown
Species in genus: 50 species: worldwide
Etymology: (Greek: inflammation of finger, especially beneath nail [whitlow], from ailment the plant was believed to cure)
Reference: [Chaudhri 1968 Meded Bot Mus Herb Rijks Univ Utrecht 285:64–297]


P. franciscana Eastw.

Perennial, mat-forming; taproot > 3 mm diam
Stem prostrate, 5–50 cm, ± concealed by leaves
Leaf: stipules 3–6 mm; petiole 5–10 mm, ± elliptic to oblanceolate, ± smooth, green, generally moderately hairy; tip a bristle; margin green
Flowers 2–6, axillary, 2–2.3 mm, sparsely hairy near tip; hairs 0.3–0.6 mm, ± straight; sepals 1.2–1.3 mm (except awns), oblong to ovate, margin ± 1 mm wide, awned from tip, awn 0.5–0.7 mm, ± straight, slender, erect; sterile stamens 0
Seed 1–1.2 mm, ± spheric
Ecology: Grassy hills
Elevation: < 250 m.
Bioregional distribution: n Central Coast (around San Francisco Bay), San Francisco Bay Area
Distribution outside California: native to Chile

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