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Spergularia rubra

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.
Genus: SpergulariaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, erect to sprawling; taprooted. Leaf: thread-like to linear, vein 1; stipules 1--11 mm, lanceolate to widely triangular, scarious, +- entire or splitting +- at tip, white to tan. Inflorescence: terminal, open to dense; flowers few to many; pedicels 0.5--28+ mm. Flower: sepals 5, united in basal 1/5, 1.5--10 mm, lanceolate to ovate, glabrous to glandular-hairy; petals 5, 0.6--9 mm, entire; stamens 2--10; styles 3, 0.3--1.9 mm. Fruit: capsule, ovoid; valves 3, spreading, tip recurved. Seed: few to many, dark brown, red-brown, or black, often winged.
Species In Genus: 60 species: western North America, western South America, Mediterranean. Etymology: (Latin: derivative of Spergula)

Spergularia rubra (L.) J. Presl & C. Presl
Habit: Annual or short-lived perennial herb, delicate. Stem: lower main 0.3--0.5 mm diam. Leaf: barely fleshy, 2--4+ per axillary cluster; stipules generally 3.5--5 mm, conspicuous, lanceolate, shiny, white, tip +- long-acuminate. Inflorescence: 1--3+ × compound or flowers 1 in axils; glandular-hairy. Flower: sepals fused 0.5--0.7 mm, lobes 2--3.2 mm, in fruit < 4 mm; petals pink; stamens 6--10; styles 0.6--0.8 mm. Fruit: 3.5--5 mm, 1--1.2 × calyx. Seed: 0.4--0.6 mm, red-brown to dark brown, wing 0; sculpture worm-like, minutely papillate. Chromosomes: 2n=18,36,54.
Ecology: Open forest, gravelly glades, meadows, mud flats, disturbed areas; Elevation: < 2400 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaR, c SNF, n&c SNH, ScV, CW, SCo, SnGb, PR, DMtns; Distribution Outside California: to Yukon Territory, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, eastern North America, South America; native to Mediterranean, Asia. Flowering Time: Spring--fall
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald L. Hartman & Richard K. Rabeler
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botanical illustration including Spergularia rubra


Citation for this treatment: Ronald L. Hartman & Richard K. Rabeler 2016. Spergularia rubra, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 27, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 27, 2016.

Spergularia rubra
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© 2015 Steve Matson
Spergularia rubra
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Spergularia rubra
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© 2007 George W. Hartwell
Spergularia rubra
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Spergularia rubra
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Spergularia rubra
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© 2011 Neal Kramer

More photos of Spergularia rubra in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Spergularia rubra:
NW, CaR, c SNF, n&c SNH, ScV, CW, SCo, SnGb, PR, DMtns;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.