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Stellaria borealis subsp. sitchana

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 borealis Bigelow subsp. sitchana (Steud.) Piper & Beattie
Habit: Perennial herb, sprawling to erect, 15--50 cm, +- glabrous; rhizome white. Stem: internodes generally finely papillate. Leaf: +- evenly spaced; blade 15--45 mm, +- lanceolate to widely so; margin papillate, flat, dull, sometimes ciliate near base. Inflorescence: terminal or axillary, several to many-flowered; bracts leaf-like; pedicels erect to ascending, in fruit curved to reflexed. Flower: sepals 5, 3--3.5 mm, < 4.5 mm in fruit, lanceolate, acute, glabrous, margin +- widely scarious, ribs in fruit generally 3, prominent; petals (0)1--5, 0.5--0.8 × sepals; styles generally 0.9--1.6 mm, slender, straight (often contorted on dried specimens). Seed: 1--1.2 mm, dark red-brown, tubercles low, elongate. Chromosomes: 2n=52.
Ecology: Sedge stands, meadows, streambanks, swamps, moist woodland; Elevation: < 2100 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, NCoRO, CaRH, c&s SNF, SNH, CCo; Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, Montana, South Dakota, Utah. Flowering Time: May--Sep Note: Plants from > 1000 m in central and southern SNF, SNH often have ovate-elliptic leaves and resemble Stellaria crispa. Stellaria borealis subsp. borealis erroneously reported for California in FNANM (Morton 2005).
Synonyms: Stellaria calycantha (Ledeb.) Bong. var. sitchana (Steud.) Fernald; Stellaria sitchana Steud. var. bongardiana (Fernald) Hultén; Stellaria calycantha var. bongardiana (Fernald) Fernald; Stellaria borealis Bigelow var. bongardiana Fernald
Unabridged Note: 1 other subsp., Nevada to Alaska, Greenland, northeastern United States (except plains states).
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald L. Hartman & Richard K. Rabeler
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botanical illustration including Stellaria borealis subsp. sitchana


Citation for this treatment: Ronald L. Hartman & Richard K. Rabeler 2016. Stellaria borealis subsp. sitchana, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 30, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 30, 2016.

Stellaria borealis subsp. sitchana
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© 2009 Keir Morse

More photos of Stellaria borealis subsp. sitchana in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Stellaria borealis subsp. sitchana:
NCo, NCoRO, CaRH, c&s SNF, SNH, CCo;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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.