Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia genus Fact Sheet

Family: Caryophyllaceae

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 421 (1753).

Derivation: Latin stella, a star; alluding to the 5 radiating petals.

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Starworts.

Perennial or annual herbs with angular stems, often fragile; leaves sessile or petiolate.

Flowers in dichasial cymes, rarely solitary; sepals 4 or 5, with scarious margins; petals 5 or absent, usually white; stamens 10 or fewer; styles 3 or 4.

Capsule opening by 3-6 valves splitting from the summit almost to the base; seeds several, granular.

Distribution:  About 120 species distributed almost throughout the world.

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: Jacobs and Pickard (1981) Plants of New South Wales recorded S. flaccida Hook., Compan. Bot. Mag. 1:275 (1836) for S.Aust., but no specimen identified as such has been seen by the author.

Key to Species:
1. Petals present
2. Leaves pungent-pointed
S. pungens 7.
2. Leaves not pungent
3. Leaves to 1 cm long; sepals 2-3 mm long
S. caespitosa 1.
3. Leaves 1-4 cm long; sepals 4-10 mm long
S. palustris 6.
1. Petals absent
4. Leaves ovate
5. Capsule pale-coloured throughout
S. media 3.
5. Capsule purple on parts
S. pallida 5.
4. Leaves linear to lanceolate
6. Leaves almost filiform
S. filiformis 2.
6. Leaves narrowly lanceolate
S. multiflora 4.

Author: Not yet available

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