Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Scleranthus annuus subsp. annuus

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: ScleranthusView Description 

Common Name: KNAWEL
Habit: Annual, biennial, prostrate to erect, taprooted. Leaf: blade needle-like; vein 1. Inflorescence: axillary, dense; flowers 1--5, +- sessile. Flower: hypanthium widely obovate to urn-shaped, abruptly expanded distally, in fruit hard; sepals 5, free, 1.5--4 mm, narrowly triangular to awl-shaped, glabrous, margin thinly scarious; petals 0; stamens 2--10, on hypanthium rim; styles 2. Fruit: utricle, ovoid. Seed: 1.
Species In Genus: 10 species: Eurasia, Africa, Australia. Etymology: (Greek: hard flower, from hypanthium in fruit)

Scleranthus annuus L. subsp. annuus
Stem: prostrate to erect, much-branched, generally 4--20 cm, rigid; hairs +- in lines, fine, recurved. Leaf: 4--20+ mm; sheath scarious, ciliate; tip sharp-pointed. Inflorescence: 3--15 mm diam. Flower: 3--4.2 mm; hypanthium 10-ribbed; sepals narrowly triangular to awl-shaped, erect to spreading; styles +- 0.8--1 mm. Seed: 1.4--1.6 mm, widely ovoid, tan except red crescent near acute tip. Chromosomes: 2n=44.
Ecology: Meadows, stream margins, serpentine areas, disturbed areas; Elevation: 300--1200 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoRO, NCoRH, CaR, n SN, c SNF, PR; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, Saskatchewan, eastern North America; native to Europe. Flowering Time: All year
Unabridged Note: 7 other subspecies, native to Europe, western Asia, northern Africa.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald L. Hartman & Richard K. Rabeler
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botanical illustration including Scleranthus annuus subsp. annuus


Citation for this treatment: Ronald L. Hartman & Richard K. Rabeler 2017. Scleranthus annuus subsp. annuus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 28, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 28, 2017.

Geographic subdivisions for Scleranthus annuus subsp. annuus:
KR, NCoRO, NCoRH, CaR, n SN, c SNF, 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).

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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.