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Ronald L. Hartman (except Silene)

Annual, biennial, perennial herb, rarely dioecious, taprooted or rhizome generally slender
Leaves simple, generally opposite; stipules generally 0; petiole generally 0; blade entire, sheath generally 0
Inflorescence: cyme, generally open; flowers few–many or flower solitary and axillary; involucre generally 0
Flower generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium sometimes present; sepals generally 5, ± free or fused into a tube, tube generally herbaceous between lobes or teeth; awns generally 0; petals generally 5 or 0, generally tapered to base (or with claw long, blade expanded), entire to 2–several-lobed, blade generally without scale-like appendages (inner surface), generally without ear-like lobes at base; stamens generally 10, generally fertile, generally free, generally from ovary base; nectaries generally 0; ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, placentas basal or free-central, styles 2–5 or 1 and 2–3-branched
Fruit: capsule or utricle (rarely modified, dehiscent), generally sessile
Seeds: appendage generally 0
Genera in family: 85 genera, 2400 species: widespread, especially arctic, alpine, temp, n hemisphere; some cultivated (Agrostemma, Arenaria, Cerastium, Dianthus, Gypsophila, Lychnis, Saponaria, Silene, Vaccaria ).



Species in genus: 1 sp
Etymology: (Latin: cow, from use as fodder or prevalence in pastures)


V. hispanica (Mill.) Rauschert

Annual (8)20–100 cm, glabrous, glaucous, taprooted
Leaf 2–12 cm; petiole present or 0; blade lanceolate to ovate, base rounded to cordate-clasping; veins 3–7
Inflorescence: cyme, terminal, 10–70-flowered +, ± flat-topped; bracts leafy; pedicels 5–40+ mm
Flower: sepals 5, fused, glabrous, tube prominent, 7.5–17 mm, 1.5–9 mm diam, cylindric to urn-shaped, 5-angled or 5-keeled, veins 10, teeth 1.5–3 mm, < tube, ovate to triangular; petals 5, 15–25 mm, claw long, blade oblanceolate to obovate, entire or obcordate, pink to reddish; styles 2, 9–21 mm
Fruit: capsule, ovoid; stalk 0.5–1 mm; teeth 4, ascending to recurved
Seeds many, 1.6–1.8 mm, ± spheric; tubercles fine, low, reddish brown to black
Chromosomes: 2n=24,30,60
Ecology: Fields, disturbed areas
Elevation: < 2800 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, North Coast Ranges, High Cascade Range, c Sierra Nevada Foothills, n High Sierra Nevada, Tehachapi Mountain Area, Sacramento Valley, Central Western California, South Coast, Peninsular Ranges, Great Basin Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: native to Eurasia, Mediterranean
Flowering time: May–Aug
Synonyms: V. segetalis (Necker) Asch

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