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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 to prostrate; taproot and rhizomes present
Leaf: petiole present or 0; blade linear to ovate; vein 1
Inflorescence: cyme, terminal or axillary, few–many-flowered, open to dense or umbel-like or flower axillary, solitary; peduncles, pedicels 0.8–50+ mm
Flower: sepals generally 5, free, 1.5–5.5 mm, lanceolate to ovate, glabrous to glandular-hairy; petals 0 or 5, 0.8–7 mm, generally 2-lobed ± to base; stamens 10, sometimes fewer; styles 3(4–5 in S. calycantha), 0.2–2.8 mm
Fruit: capsule, ± ovoid to cylindric-oblong; teeth 6(8,10), ascending to recurved
Seeds several–many, brown to yellowish, reddish, or purplish brown
Species in genus: 120 species: worldwide
Etymology: (Latin: star, from flower shape)
Reference: [Chinnappa & Morton 1991 Rhodora 93:129–135; Morton & Rabeler 1989 Canad J Bot 67:121–127]


S. calycantha (Ledeb.) Bong.

Perennial, prostrate to erect, 5–25 cm, often glabrous; rhizome white
Stem: internodes glabrous or with wavy scattered hairs
Leaves ± evenly spaced; blade 3–25 mm, elliptic to ovate; margin ± smooth, flat to wavy, shiny, sometimes ciliate
Inflorescence terminal or axillary, 1–few-flowered; bracts leafy; pedicels ascending to erect, in fruit often recurved
Flower: sepals 5, 1.5–3 mm, ovate to elliptic, ± acute, glabrous, margin scarious, veins generally obscure; petals (0)5, 0.3–0.5 X sepals
Seed 0.7–0.9 mm, reddish brown; surface ± smooth or minutely roughened
Chromosomes: 2n=26
Ecology: Mossy banks, bogs, dry creeks, wet meadows, shaded areas
Elevation: 1700–3800 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, Outer North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range Foothills, n&c Sierra Nevada, Tehachapi Mountain Area, San Gabriel Mountains, Modoc Plateau, White and Inyo Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, New Mexico; ne Asia
Flowering time: Jun–Aug
Synonyms: subsp. interior Hultén; var. simcoei (Howell) Fernald

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