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Vascular Plants of California
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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 Schizotechium; 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.
Habit: Annual, biennial; glabrous. Stem: erect. Leaf: gradually reduced on distal stem; proximal oblanceolate to elliptic or ovate; distal oblanceolate to ovate. Inflorescence: generally terminal compact cymes or flowers in tight paniculate clusters. Flower: bisexual; sepals 5, fused, glabrous, tube funnel- or club-shaped, expanded distally, green or reddish, faintly 10-veined, tissue between adjacent sepals 1-veined, green or reddish, lobes < tube; petals 5, pink or purple, clawed, claw appendages 2, lobes 0 or 2, shallow; stamens 5, +- exserted; styles 3(4), +- exserted. Fruit: capsule, opening by 6(--8) ascending to slightly recurved teeth, oblong, stalked. Seed: many, 0.5--0.7 mm, kidney-shaped, papillate, brown.
Species In Genus: 6 species: native to Europe, western Asia. Etymology: unknown. Note: Not most closely related to Silene (Oxelman et al. 2001), where commonly included.
Jepson eFlora Author: Bruce Baldwin & Richard K. Rabeler
Reference: Oxelman et al. 2001 Nordic J Bot 20:743--748; Frajman et al. 2013 Bot J Linn Soc 173:194--210
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: Bruce Baldwin & Richard K. Rabeler 2022, Atocion, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 11,, accessed on December 09, 2023.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2023, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 09, 2023.