Flora of the Southeastern United States
2022 Edition

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Key to Stellaria

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1 Styles 5 (-6); capsule opening by 5 (-6) shallowly bifid valves
1 Styles 3' capsule opening by 6 valves.
..2 Leaves narrow, usually linear, lanceolate, oblanceolate, or narrowly elliptic, the blade 3-10× as long as wide, 0.8-10 mm wide; stems prominently 4-angled.
....3 Sepals 2.0-3.5 mm long; petals 0-3.0 mm long, shorter than the sepals or absent; seeds 0.3-0.9 mm long.
......4 Inflorescence a leafy terminal cyme of (1-) 5-50 flowers; seeds 0.7-0.9 mm long, smooth or slightly rugose; [Larbreae clade, Foliaceo-bracteatae subclade]
......4 Inflorescences axillary, solitary or in small cymes of 2-5 flowers; seeds 0.3-0.8 mm long, distinctly papillose.
........5 Flowers in axillary inflorescences of 1-5 flowers; sepals 5; petals 5; seeds 0.3-0.4 mm long, with small, rounded tubercles; [widespread]; [Larbreae clade, Uliginosae subclade]
........5 Flowers solitary in leaf axils; sepals 4 (-5); petals absent; seeds 0.6-0.8 mm long, with stalked, knoblike tubercles; [of c. KY and TN]
....3 Sepals 3.5-9 mm long; petals 3.5-13 mm long, equaling or longer than the sepals; seeds 0.7-2.5 mm long.
..........6 Seeds 2-2.5 mm long; bracts of the inflorescence herbaceous; petals notched < halfway to the base
..........6 Seeds 0.7-1.2 mm long; bracts of the inflorescence scarious; petals notched > halfway to the base; [Larbreae clade].
............7 Sepals 4.5-5.5 mm long, strongly 3-nerved; seeds 0.8-1.2 mm long, coarsely tuberculate; inflorescence diffuse, many-flowered; [Gramineae subclade]
............7 Sepals 3.5-4.5 mm long, weakly 3-nerved; seeds 0.7-1.0 mm long, obscurely sculptured and appearing almost smooth; inflorescence more compact, fewer-flowered; [Parviflorae subclade]
..2 Leaves broad, usually ovate, obovate, or broadly elliptic, the blade 1-2.5× (or to 4×) as long as wide, 4-30 mm wide (if > 2.5× as long as wide, then definitely > 10 mm wide); stems terete or 4-angled.
..............8 Leaves long-petiolate, the petiole about as long as the blade, the blades cordate to truncate at the base; sepals 2.5-3.5 mm long, obtuse to broadly acute; seeds 0.6-0.8 mm long; stem glabrous or glandular-puberulent (the pubescence not in lines); [Petiolares clade]
..............8 Leaves sessile, short-petiolate, to long-petiolate (if long petiolate, the blades cuneate), the blades rounded to cuneate at the base; sepals 2.5-11 mm long, broadly acute to acuminate; seeds 0.4-2.0 mm long; stem puberulent to short-pilose (the pubescence in vertical lines or not).
................9 Leaves (1.0-) 2.5-10 cm long (with strong dimorphism between sterile and fertile shoots, the leaves of sterile shoots much larger); seeds 1.7-2 mm long; sepals 4-11 mm long; stem pubescence in vertical lines or uniformly distributed; perennial, the stems strong and ascending to erect; [native]; [Insignes clade].
..................10 Sepals 7-11 (-12) mm long, acuminate, ciliate, but more-or-less glabrous on the back; [of the mountains]
..................10 Sepals 3.5-7 mm long, acute, ciliate and more-or-less pubescent on the back; [widespread in our area]
................9 Leaves 0.3-4.0 cm long; seeds 0.6-1.7 mm long; sepals 2.5-6.5 mm long; stem pubescence always in vertical lines; annual, the stems weak and in part prostrate, the tips or vigorous growth ascending; [alien]; [Petiolares clade].
....................11 Sepals 5.0-6.5 mm long; stamens 8-10; seeds 1.1-1.7 mm long
....................11 Sepals 2.5-5.2 (-6.0) mm long; stamens 1-5 (-8); seeds 0.4-1.3 mm long.
......................12 Stamens 3-5 (-8); sepals 4.5-5.2 (-6.0) mm long, lacking red band at base; seeds 0.9-1.4 mm long; petals usually present
......................12 Stamens 0-3 (-5); sepals 3.0-4.0 mm long, frequently with a red band at the base; seeds 0.4-0.9 mm long; petals usually absent