Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

link to manual TREATMENT FROM THE JEPSON MANUAL (1993) previous taxon | next taxon
Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
For up-to-date information about California vascular plants, visit 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, matted or tufted, taprooted
Leaves opposite, sometimes appearing whorled; stipules 0.4–2.8 mm, lanceolate to triangular, scarious, entire to irregularly toothed or cut, white; petiole short or 0; blade oblanceolate to obovate; vein 1
Inflorescence: cyme, axillary; flowers few–many, open to dense; pedicels 0.2–2 mm
Flower: sepals 5, ± free, 1–2.2 mm, lanceolate to ovate, glabrous, awn conic to widely triangular; petals 5, 0.5–1.1 mm, entire or notched; stamens 3–5, ± fused at base; style 1, 3-branched, 0.1–0.3 mm
Fruit: capsule, ovoid to spheric; valves 3, margin rolled inward
Seeds several, brown
Species in genus: 16 species: worldwide
Etymology: (Greek: many fruit, from capsule number)


P. tetraphyllum (L.) L.


Plant glabrous
Stem prostrate to erect, often much-branched, especially above, 3–17 cm
Leaves opposite but often appearing to be in whorls of 4; stipules 1.8–2.8 mm, lanceolate to widely triangular; petiole 0 or tapered into blade; blade 4–12 mm, obovate
Flower: sepals 1.8–2.2 mm, lanceolate to ovate, margin scarious, white, prominently keeled, awn 0.3–0.7 mm, widely triangular; petals linear to elliptic
Seed 0.4–0.5 mm, obliquely triangular, granular
Chromosomes: 2n=32,48,64
Ecology: Disturbed areas, roadsides, shaded waste areas
Elevation: < 450 m.
Bioregional distribution: Outer North Coast Ranges, n Sierra Nevada Foothills, Sacramento Valley, Central Coast, South Coast, San Gabriel Mountains
Distribution outside California: native to s Europe

previous taxon | next taxon
bioregional map for POLYCARPON%20tetraphyllum being generated
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Polycarpon tetraphyllum
Retrieve dichotomous key for Polycarpon
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions | Get lists of plants in a bioregion
Return to the Jepson Interchange main page
Return to treatment index page
  • This page is no longer being maintained.

University & Jepson Herbaria Home Page |
General Information | University Herbarium | Jepson Herbarium |
Visiting the Herbaria | On-line Resources | Research |
Education | Related Sites
Copyright © by the Regents of the University of California