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Vascular Plants of California
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Spergularia macrotheca var. leucantha

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: SpergulariaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, erect to sprawling; taprooted. Leaf: thread-like to linear, vein 1; stipules 1--11 mm, lanceolate to widely triangular, scarious, +- entire or splitting +- at tip, white to tan. Inflorescence: terminal, open to dense; flowers few to many; pedicels 0.5--28+ mm. Flower: sepals 5, united in basal 1/5, 1.5--10 mm, lanceolate to ovate, glabrous to glandular-hairy; petals 5, 0.6--9 mm, entire; stamens 2--10; styles 3, 0.3--1.9 mm. Fruit: capsule, ovoid; valves 3, spreading, tip recurved. Seed: few to many, dark brown, red-brown, or black, often winged.
Etymology: (Latin: derivative of Spergula)
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald L. Hartman (deceased) & Richard K. Rabeler
Reference: Hartman & Rabeler 2005 FNANM 5:16--23
Species: Spergularia macrothecaView Description 

Habit: Plant strongly perennial herb, stout. Stem: lower main 0.8--3 mm diam. Leaf: fleshy; 0--2+ per axillary cluster; stipules 4.5--11 mm, +- conspicuous, narrowly triangular, dull white to tan, tip long-acuminate. Inflorescence: simple or 1--3+ × compound or flowers 1 in axils; glandular-hairy. Flower: sepals fused 0.5--1.8 mm, lobes 4.5--7 mm, in fruit < 8 mm; petals white or pink to rosy or blue; stamens 9--10; styles 0.5--3 mm. Fruit: 4.6--10 mm, 0.8--1.4 × calyx. Seed: +- red-brown, generally winged; smooth, tubercled, or sculpture worm-like or of low rounded mounds, not papillate.

Spergularia macrotheca (Cham. & Schltdl.) Heynh. var. leucantha (Greene) B.L. Rob.
Habit: Plant 10--40 cm. Flower: calyx lobes 4.5--5.5 mm, in fruit < 6.5 mm; petals white; styles 1.2--1.9 mm. Fruit: 1.2--1.4 × calyx. Seed: 0.7--0.8 mm.
Ecology: Alkaline soils, floodplains, vernal pools, meadows, marshy ground; Elevation: < 800 m. Bioregional Distribution: GV, SnFrB, SCoRO, SCo, DMoj. Flowering Time: Apr--Jun
Jepson eFlora Author: Ronald L. Hartman (deceased) & Richard K. Rabeler
Reference: Hartman & Rabeler 2005 FNANM 5:16--23
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Spergularia macrotheca var. leucantha

botanical illustration including Spergularia macrotheca var. leucantha

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Citation for this treatment: Ronald L. Hartman (deceased) & Richard K. Rabeler 2012, Spergularia macrotheca var. leucantha, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 18, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 18, 2024.

Spergularia macrotheca  
var. leucantha
click for enlargement
©2013 Neal Kramer
Spergularia macrotheca  
var. leucantha
click for enlargement
©2011 Neal Kramer
Spergularia macrotheca  
var. leucantha
click for enlargement
©2011 Neal Kramer

More photos of Spergularia macrotheca var. leucantha
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Spergularia macrotheca var. leucantha:
GV, SnFrB, SCoRO, SCo, DMoj.
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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).