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Cerastium fontanum subsp. vulgare

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: CerastiumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

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)

Cerastium fontanum Baumg. subsp. vulgare (Hartm.) Greuter & Burdet
Habit: Perennial herb, often flowering 1st year, appearing annual, 6--35 cm; hairs nonglandular. Stem: generally non-flowering (mat-forming) and flowering (+- erect). Leaf: on flower stem 8--25 mm, lanceolate to oblong, +- widely so. Inflorescence: bract margins generally scarious; pedicels in fruit 1--4 × sepals. Flower: flower parts 5; calyx 4.5--7 mm, hairy, ascending, scarious margin of most outer sepals 0.2--0.6 mm wide; petals 4--5 mm, 1.5 mm < to 0.5 mm > sepals. Fruit: 6.5--11 mm. Seed: 0.6--0.7 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=126,136, generally 144.
Ecology: Disturbed areas, grassy slopes, damp woodland, marshy ground; Elevation: < 2200 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaRH, c SNF, n&c SNH, SCoRO?, SCo, SnBr, PR; Distribution Outside California: North America; native to Europe. Flowering Time: Spring
Synonyms: Cerastium fontanum subsp. triviale (Spenner) Jalas
Unabridged Note: 1 other subsp., in Greenland, native to Europe.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald L. Hartman & Richard K. Rabeler
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Citation for this treatment: Ronald L. Hartman & Richard K. Rabeler 2017. Cerastium fontanum subsp. vulgare, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 21, 2017.

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

Cerastium fontanum subsp. vulgare
click for enlargement
© 2004 Steve Matson
Cerastium fontanum subsp. vulgare
click for enlargement
© 2013 Vernon Smith
Cerastium fontanum subsp. vulgare
click for enlargement
© 2013 Barry Breckling
Cerastium fontanum subsp. vulgare
click for enlargement
© 2003 Steve Matson
Cerastium fontanum subsp. vulgare
click for enlargement
© 2013 Barry Breckling
Cerastium fontanum subsp. vulgare
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Breckling

More photos of Cerastium fontanum subsp. vulgare in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Cerastium fontanum subsp. vulgare:
NW, CaRH, c SNF, n&c SNH, SCoRO?, SCo, SnBr, PR;
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.
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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.