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Cerastium
MOUSE-EAR CHICKWEED

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CaryophyllaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: PINK FAMILY
Habit: Annual to perennial herb; rarely dioecious (Silene), taprooted or rhizome generally slender. Leaf: simple, generally opposite (subwhorled), entire, pairs at nodes often +- connected at bases; stipules generally 0; petiole generally 0. Inflorescence: generally cyme, generally open; flowers 1--many; involucre generally 0 (present in Dianthus, Petrorhagia). Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium often present but obscure; sepals (4)5, +- free or fused into a tube, margins generally scarious, more so on inner 2 or not, tube generally not scarious, awns generally 0; petals (4)5 or 0, generally tapered to base (or with claw long, limb expanded), entire to 2--several-lobed, limb generally without scale-like appendages adaxially, generally without ear-like lobes at base; stamens generally 10, generally fertile, generally free, generally from ovary base; nectaries 0 or 5; ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, placentas basal or free-central, styles 2--5 with 0 branches or 1 with 2--3 branches. Fruit: capsule or utricle (rarely +- dehiscent), generally sessile.
Genera In Family: 83 or 89 genera, 3000 species: widespread, especially arctic, alpine, temperate northern hemisphere; some cultivated (Agrostemma, Arenaria, Cerastium, Dianthus, Gypsophila, Lychnis, Sagina, Saponaria, Silene, Vaccaria). Note: Apetalous Caryophyllaceae can also be keyed in Rabeler & Hartman 2005 FNANM 5:5--8.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald L. Hartman & Richard K. Rabeler, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Cerastium
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, erect to mat-forming; taproot or rhizomes present. Leaf: blade linear to ovate; vein 1; axillary leaf clusters generally 0. Inflorescence: terminal or axillary; flowers few to many, open to dense; pedicels 1--36+ mm. Flower: sepals (4)5, 3--12 mm, free, lanceolate to ovate, hairy to glandular-hairy, hairs generally not exceeding tip; petals 0 or (4)5, 2.5--15 mm, +- 2-lobed, white [purple tinged]; stamens (4,5)10; styles (4)5, 0.5--3.3 mm. Fruit: capsule, cylindric, often +- curved in upper 1/2; teeth (8)10, spreading to recurved. Seed: several to many, pale to red-brown.
Species In Genus: +- 180 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate. Etymology: (Greek: horn, from fruit shape)
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald L. Hartman & Richard K. Rabeler
Jepson Online Interchange
Key to Cerastium

Previous taxon: Cardionema ramosissimum
Next taxon: Cerastium arvense subsp. strictum

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Citation for this treatment: Ronald L. Hartman & Richard K. Rabeler 2016. Cerastium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=10429, accessed on February 10, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on February 10, 2016.


Cerastium fontanum subsp. vulgare
click for enlargement
© 2004 Steve Matson
Cerastium glomeratum
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© 2010 Neal Kramer
Cerastium fontanum subsp. vulgare
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Breckling
Cerastium fontanum subsp. vulgare
click for enlargement
© 2003 Steve Matson
Cerastium glomeratum
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© 2007 Carol W. Witham
Cerastium beeringianum
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© 2015 Barry Breckling

More photos of Cerastium in CalPhotos