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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 1/28/2013)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 1/28/2013)
Family CARYOPHYLLACEAE
Contributor JAMES A. DUKE
Description Annual or perennial herbs or subshrubs, often with swollen nodes. Leaves opposite and decussate or verticillate, the petioles often amplexicaul, some with conspicuous stipules. Flowers commonly bisexual, actinomorphic, 5- or 4-merous, in dichasial cymes, or solitary in the axils, or solitary and terminal (Githago). Sepals 5-4, separate or connate, often scarious, persistent. Petals as many as the sepals, rarely absent, hypogynous or slightly perigynous, entire, bifid or lacerate, usually white, pink or red. Stamens 2-10, mostly 5 or 10; filaments filiform or flattened, occasionally united into a short tube below; anthers usually versatile, 2-celled, and longitudinally dehiscent. Carpels 2-5, the ovary 1-locular, with 1- many campylotropous ovules on basal, central or free central placentae, styles 2-5, free or united below. Fruit a utricle or a capsule longitudinally dehiscing into as many entire or deeply emarginate valves as there are styles; seeds 1-many, strophiolate or estrophiolate, smooth or tuberculate, the embryo curved about the perisperm.
Habit herbs or subshrubs
Distribution This family, with about 75 genera, mostly in temperate areas
Note of little economic interest except for a number of ornamentals, such as Lychnis and Dianthus, which may ultimately be found in Panama gardens. Several weedy genera, of more or less cosmopolitan distribution, despairingly need monographic research, worldwide in scope. Five such weedy, genera occur in Panama.
Key a. Leaves longer than broad; stipules absent; stamens usually 10, rarely 4 or 5; capsule splitting into 2-5 usually 2-cleft valves; styles not united. b. Leaves linear to elliptic; petals entire or shallowly emarginate............. 1. ARENARIA bb. Leaves ovate to cordate; petals deeply bifid. c. Leaves ovate; capsules cylindric, arcuate, with 10 teeth; styles usually 5 ................2............................... 2. CERASAJUM cc. Leaves ovate or cordatc; capsules ovoid, straight, with 6-8 (-10) teeth; styles usually 2-4 ................................. ....................... .... 3. STELLARIA aa. Leaves shorter or longer than broad; stipules present, occasionally fugaceous; stamens 2-5; capsules splitting into 3 entire valves; styles usually united at least half their length. d. Leaves broader than long, opposite, the ochraceous stipules often fugaceous; seeds 1-50, tuberculate in lines (in Panama) ............ .......... 4. DRYMARIA dd. Leaves longer than broad, verticillate, the argentate stipules per- sistent; seeds 2-6, merely corrugated .................................. ........ 5. POLYCARPAEA
 
 
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