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Stellaria nitens

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: StellariaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, erect to prostrate; taprooted, rhizomed. Stem: 4-angled or round. Leaf: petioled or not; linear to ovate, vein 1. Inflorescence: terminal or axillary, umbel-like or not, open to dense; flowers 1--many (if 1, axillary); peduncles, pedicels 0.8--50+ mm. Flower: sepals (4)5, free, 1.5--5.5 mm, lanceolate to ovate, glabrous to glandular-hairy; petals 0 or (1)5, 0.8--7 mm, 2-lobed > 1/2 to base; stamens 10 or fewer; styles 3(4--5 in Stellaria calycantha), 0.2--2.8 mm. Fruit: capsule, +- ovoid or spheric to cylindric-oblong; valves 6(8,10), ascending to recurved. Seed: several to many, brown to +- yellow, +- red, or purple-brown.
Species In Genus: +- 190 species: worldwide. Etymology: (Latin: star, from flower shape) Note: Presence of papillae on leaf margins determined at 20×.

Stellaria nitens Nutt.
Habit: Annual, ascending to erect, 3--25 cm, glabrous or sparsely hairy; taproot thread-like. Stem: internode hairs 0 or scattered. Leaf: crowded near base; blade 5--15 mm, margin not papillate, shiny, often ciliate; lower oblanceolate to obovate; upper lance-linear (to ovate). Inflorescence: terminal, few- to several-flowered; bracts scarious; pedicels ascending to erect, in fruit +- straight. Flower: sepals 5, 2.8--4.2 mm, +- lanceolate to needle-like, long-acuminate, glabrous, margin widely scarious, ribs in fruit +- 3; petals 5, 0.2--0.5 × sepals or 0. Seed: 0.5--0.7 mm, brown, tubercles minute. Chromosomes: 2n=20, 40.
Ecology: Sand dunes, streambanks, open woodland, beneath boulders, disturbed areas; Elevation: < 1500 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, n&c SNF, SNH, ScV (Sutter Buttes), SnJV, CW, SW; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, Montana, Arizona; Mexico. Flowering Time: Spring
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald L. Hartman & Richard K. Rabeler
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botanical illustration including Stellaria nitens


Citation for this treatment: Ronald L. Hartman & Richard K. Rabeler 2017. Stellaria nitens, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 21, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 21, 2017.

Stellaria nitens
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© 2007 Keir Morse
Stellaria nitens
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© 2005 Keir Morse
Stellaria nitens
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© 2010 Barry Breckling
Stellaria nitens
click for enlargement
© 2005 Keir Morse
Stellaria nitens
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse

More photos of Stellaria nitens in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Stellaria nitens:
NW, n&c SNF, SNH, ScV (Sutter Buttes), SnJV, CW, SW;
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).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

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