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Published In: Genera Plantarum 299. 1789. (4 Aug 1789) (Gen. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)

By S.A. Ghazanfar. Genera Minuartia and Silene revised by Y. J. Nasir

Contributor Institution: National Herbarium, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad.
General/Distribution: A large family of 70 genera and about 1750 species, cosmopolitan. Represented in Pakistan by 26 genera and 110 species, distributed more or less through-out the country. Except for a few species, the family is of no economic value: Some species are cultivated in gardens.
Comment/Acknowledgements: Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the following Directors/Curators of Herbaria for the loan of herbarium specimens: BM, E, G, K, KUH, M, PPFI-B, W. Than are also due to Mr. I.C. Hedge of Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh for going through the manuscript and giving valuable suggestions. Dr. J.A. Ratter. Royal Botanic Garden; Edinburgh for information concerning the genera Spergula and Spergularia And Dr. C.E. Jarvis (BM, NH), London, for typication of Linnaean taxa.

The financial assistance provided by the U.S. & Department of Agriculture under PL-480 with coordination by Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad is gratefully acknowledged,


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Annual, biennial or perennial herbs, often woody. Leaves simple, entire, usually opposite, less commonly alternate or whorled; stipulate or exstipulate. Flowers actinomorphic, usually hermaphrodite or sometimes unisexual or the plant gynodioecious. Inflorescence simple or compound cymes or flowers solitary. Sepals 4-5 or absent, free or united, entire or lobed (bilobed or fimbriate), often with a limb and a claw. Coronal scales (ligules) present or absent. Stamens (0-)3-10, free, rarely adnate to the sepals. Ovary superior, 1-2-5-Jocular. Placentation free-central. Ovary, stamens and petals sometimes borne on a carpophore. Styles 2-5. Fruit a capsule dehiscing by as many or twice the number of valves or teeth as there are styles or berrylike and indehisceut. Seeds 1-many, globose to pyriform or reniform, with smooth or variously sculptured face, the back sometimes caniculate or winged.

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1.Sepals free, slightly united in Pseudostellaria
2.Leaves alternate
2.Leaves opposite or spuriously whorled
3.Leaves exstipulate
4.Leaves densely imbricate. Plants forming dense, compact cushions (found above 4400m)
4.Leaves not imbricate. Plants not as above
8.Sepals 4, unequal. Leaves closely adpressed to the stem
8.Sepals 5(-4), equal. Leaves not as above
9.Flowers in umbels
9.Flowers solitary or in cymes
10.Capsule cylindric, dehiscing by small teeth, often reflexed or revolute
10.Capsule globose to ovoid, dehiscing by valves or teeth which are neither reflexed nevolute
11.Styles 4-5
12.Leaves lanceolate to spathulate. Styles 5. Capsule dehiscing by 5 bidentate teeth
12.Leaves linear. Styles 4-5. Capsule splitting by 4-5 valves
11.Styles 2-3
13.Capsule membranous, splitting almost to the base by 2(-4) valves
13.Capsule not membranous, dehiscing by more than 2 valves or teeth
14.Capsule dehiscing by as many valves as styles (3)
14.Capsule dehiscing by twice as many teeth or valves as styles
15.Capsule teeth short, 6 in number
15.Capsule teeth usually ½ the capsule length, 4-6 in number
16.Napiform tubers present on the rhizome. Cleistogamic and chasmogamic flowers present. Sepals slightly united at the base
16.Tubers absent. Only chasmogamic flowers present. Sepals free
3.Leaves stipulate
5.Stipules connate at the nodes
5.Stipules free
6.Sepals keeled
6.Sepals not keeled
7.Axillary leaf fascicles present. Stamens 5-10. Seeds keeled or winged
7.Axillary leaf fascicles absent. Stamens 5. Seeds neither keeled nor winged
1.Sepals united, at least at the base
17.Fruit a berry, indehiscent
17.Fruit a capsule dehiscent
18.Styles 2. Carpophore usually absent
19.Bracteoles present, adpressed to calyx
19.Bracteoles absent
20.Calyx with 5 broad wings
20.Calyx without wings
21.Leaves acerose, often with a spiny apex. Bract spiny. Calyx often spiny tipped
21.Leaves, bract and calyx not as above
22.Calyx ribs with hyaline intervals between them. Capsule dehiscing by valves
23.Seeds reniform to comma shaped with lateral hilum. Calyx mostly with druses
23.Seeds peltate without facial hilum. Calyx without druses
22.Calyx ribs without hyaline intervals between then. Capsule dehiscing by teeth
24.Calyx long, narrowly cylindrical. Stems rigid, with dichotomous branches
24.Calyx campanulate or cylindrical, never long and narrow. Stems not branching as above
25.Styles 2. Capsule dehiscing by 4 valves or teeth
25.Styles 3-5. Capsule dehiscing by teeth, 5 or twice the number of styles
26.Styles 5. Capsule dehiscing by 10 teeth. Carpophore very reduced
26.Styles 3(-5). Capsule dehiscing by 6(-10) teeth. Carpophore prominent
18.Styles 3-5. Carpophore usually present
25.Styles 2. Capsule dehiscing by 4 valves or teeth
25.Styles 3-5. Capsule dehiscing by teeth, 5 or twice the number of styles
26.Styles 5. Capsule dehiscing by 10 teeth. Carpophore very reduced
26.Styles 3(-5). Capsule dehiscing by 6(-10) teeth. Carpophore prominent
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