Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |
| N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon

Polycarpon tetraphyllum subsp. depressum

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 most 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. Seed: appendage generally 0 (present in Moehringia).
Genera In Family: +- 100 genera, 3000 species: widespread, especially arctic, alpine, temperate northern hemisphere; some cultivated (Agrostemma, Arenaria, Atocion, Cerastium, Dianthus, Gypsophila, Lychnis, Sagina, Saponaria, Silene). Note: Apetalous Caryophyllaceae can also be keyed in Rabeler & Hartman 2005 FNANM 5:5--8. Taxa of Minuartia in TJM2 treated here in Cherleria and Sabulina; Pseudostellaria in Hartmaniella and Torreyostellaria; Vaccaria in Gypsophila; Velezia in Dianthus.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald L. Hartman (deceased) & Richard K. Rabeler, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin & Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: PolycarponView Description 

Common Name: POLYCARP

Etymology: (Greek: many fruit, from capsule number)
eFlora Treatment Author: Richard K. Rabeler
Reference: Thieret & Rabeler 2005 FNANM 5:25--26; Iamonico 2015 Novon 24:159--164
Species: Polycarpon tetraphyllumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, matted or tufted, taprooted, glabrous. Stem: prostrate to erect, much-branched, 1--6(17) cm. Leaf: opposite, appearing whorled or not; stipules 0.4--2.8 mm, lanceolate to triangular, scarious, entire to irregularly toothed or cut, white; petiole generally +- present; blade 3--12 mm, oblanceolate or broadly ovate to obovate, succulent or not, vein 1. Inflorescence: axillary, open to dense; flowers few to many; pedicels 0.2--2 mm. Flower: rarely open; sepals 5, +- free, 1--2.2 mm, elliptic or lanceolate to ovate, glabrous, margin scarious, white, awn conic to widely triangular; petals 5, 0.5--1 mm, linear to oblong or elliptic, entire or notched, whitish; stamens 3--5, +- fused at base; style 1, 3-branched, 0.1--0.3 mm. Fruit: capsule, ovoid to spheric; valves 3, margin rolled inward. Seed: several, 0.4--0.5 mm,, obliquely triangular, granular or minutely so, brown.
Note: +- 10 subspecies, all but subsp. depressum native to Mediterranean and Europe (Iamonico 2015).
Polycarpon tetraphyllum (L.) L. subsp. depressum (Nutt.) Iamonico
Stem: prostrate, 1--6 cm, mounding in wetter conditions. Leaf: stipules ovate to widely triangular; petiole slender; blade 3--7(9) mm, oblanceolate to obovate, somewhat succulent. Flower: rarely open except after wet conditions, sepals elliptic to ovate, awn conic; petals linear to oblong, apex truncate to +- forked. Seed: minutely granular.
Ecology: Bluffs, gravelly or sandy soil, chaparral, fields, rarely low lying disturbed areas; Elevation: < 500 m. Bioregional Distribution: SCoRO, SCo, s ChI (Santa Catalina Island); Distribution Outside California: Baja California. Flowering Time: Spring--summer
Synonyms: Polycarpon depressum Nutt.
Jepson eFlora Author: Richard K. Rabeler
Reference: Thieret & Rabeler 2005 FNANM 5:25--26; Iamonico 2015 Novon 24:159--164
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Polycarpon tetraphyllum
Next taxon: Polycarpon tetraphyllum subsp. tetraphyllum

Name Search

Botanical illustration including Polycarpon tetraphyllum subsp. depressum

botanical illustration including Polycarpon tetraphyllum subsp. depressum

Please use this Google Form for Contact/Feedback

Citation for this treatment: Richard K. Rabeler 2023, Polycarpon tetraphyllum subsp. depressum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 12,, accessed on June 21, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 21, 2024.

No expert verified images found for Polycarpon tetraphyllum subsp. depressum.

Geographic subdivisions for Polycarpon tetraphyllum subsp. depressum:
SCoRO, SCo, s ChI (Santa Catalina Island)
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
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).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).