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Pakistan | Family List | Caryophyllaceae

5. Stellaria L., Sp. Pl. 421. 1753. Gen. Pl. ed. 5,193.1754; Boiss., Fl. Or.1:705.1867; Edgew. & Hook. f. in Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 1:229.1874; Schischkin in Kom., Fl. URSS. 6:389.1936; McNeill in Notes, R. B. G. Edinb. 32 (3): 389-395.1973.


Annual or perennial, prostrate to erect herbs. Inflorescence of solitary or few to many flowered lax dichasial cymes. Sepals 4-5, free, with scarious margins. Petals 4-5, deeply bilobed, sometimes absent. Stamens (3-7)10. Styles 2-Capsule ovoid, splitting to the base by 4-6 valves. Seeds rather large, few; number, usually tuberculate.

A large genus with 120 cosmopolitan species. Represented in Pakistan by 11 species.

Species dubia

Stellaria webbiana (Benth. ex G. Don) Edgew. & Hook. f. in Fl. Brit. Ind. 1:230.1874.

Leucostemma webbianum Benth. ex G. Don, Gen. Syst. 1:449.1831.

Benth. ex C. Don, Gen. Syst. 1:449. 1831. Glabrous perennial. Stem shining, 10-15 cm. Leaves 10-12 x 0.75-1 mm, linear, apex acicular, sessile, 1-nerved, patent. Flowers 1, axillary. Pedicels slender. Sepals 5-6 mm, lanceolate, acuminate, margins broadly curious. Petals about twice the length of the sepals, bilobed to about the middle. Capsule as long as the sepals. Seeds with long processes at the back.

The distribution of the species according to Edgeworth & Hooker f. in Flora British India, 1:231. (1874) is from Kumaon to Sirmur. It has been reported from Kurram by Stewart, in the Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. p. 255. based on Aitchison’s list of Kurram Flora (in J.L.S. Bot. 18:37. (1880) sp. no. 793.) I have no specimens of the species from Kurram. The record needs confirmation.

1 Sepals 4, Styles 2. Capsule dehiscing by 4 valves   (2)
+ Sepals 4-5, Styles 3. Capsule splitting to the base by valves   (5)
2 (1) Stems capillary. Leaves few, linear-subulate (Annual)   9 Stellaria alsinoides
+ Stems not capillary. Leaves not linear-subulate (Perennials)   (3)
3 (2) Plants with a creeping rootstock. Inflorescence in dichasial cymes. Petals deeply bilobed into linear lobes   8 Stellaria uliginosa
+ Plants without a creeping rootstock. Inflorescence many flowered in corymbose cymes. Petals 1/3rd divided   (4)
4 (3) Sepals ovate, apex rounded or subacute. Leaves linear-oblanceolate to narrow oblong   11 Stellaria blatteri
+ Sepals ovate-lanceolate, apex acute to acuminate. Leaves ovate to ovate-lanceolate or lanceolate   10 Stellaria kotschyana
5 (1) Flowers in tereminal umbellate cymes   7 Stellaria subumbellata
+ Flowers in axillary or terminal dichasial cymes   (6)
6 (5) Glabrous. Stems quadangular, usually shining   (7)
+ Not glabrous. Stems terete   (8)
7 (6) Petals shorter or equalling the sepals. Axillary fascicles frequently present. Flowers 1(-2)   4 Stellaria montioides
+ Petals longer than the sepals. Axillary fascicles lacking. Flowers usually 3 in dichasial cymes   5 Stellaria persica
8 (6) Plant stoloniferous. Stems dichotomously branched, densely white tomentose. Sepals white tomentose. Flowers often nodding   6 Stellaria turkestanica
+ Plants not as above   (9)
9 (8) Leaves 25-70 (-90) x 8-15(-17) mm, ovate lanceolate to linear-lanceolate. Sepals glandular-pubescent   2 Stellaria monosperma
+ Leaves usually less than 25 mm long, rarely longer. Sepals glabrous or hairy (not glandular)   (10)
10 (9) Stem Woody at base, hairy all around. Sterile shoots with leaf fascicles. Capsule shorter than the calyx. (Perennial)   3 Stellaria decumbens
+ Stems herbaceous, hairy on one side only. Sterile shoots absent. Capsule exceeding the calyx. (Annual.)   1 Stellaria media

  • List of lower taxa


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