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Published In: The Gardeners Dictionary...Abridged...fourth edition vol. 3. 1754. (28 Jan 1754) (Gard. Dict. Abr. (ed. 4)) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/11/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 8/10/2009)


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12. Paronychia Mill. (nailwort, whitlow-wort)

Plants annual or perennial (biennial elsewhere). Stems erect or loosely ascending from a spreading base, often appearing many-branched, glabrous or pubescent with nonglandular hairs. Leaves opposite, fused basally with the accompanying stipules, short-petiolate (some lower leaves) or more commonly all sessile, lacking axillary clusters of leaves. Stipules 2 per node, thin and papery, white or silvery, narrowly triangular to lanceolate (to ovate elsewhere), tapered at the tip and entire (sharply pointed), fringed, or deeply notched. Leaf blades narrowly linear to linear or oblanceolate to obovate or elliptic, thin and herbaceous or somewhat leathery but not fleshy, tapered at the base, angled or tapered to a bluntly or sharply pointed tip, sometimes rounded or abruptly tapered to a minute, sharp point or with a minute, awnlike appendage. Flowers in open or dense terminal clusters or panicles, but sometimes appearing solitary and axillary, the stalks absent or minute and erect or ascending at flowering and fruiting, the bracts paired (absent in axillary flowers), conspicuous, resembling the leaves and/or stipules. Epicalyx absent. Sepals 5 (3 or 4 elsewhere), fused at the base, the lobes ovate to lanceolate, oblong-lanceolate, or narrowly oblong, rounded or angled to a bluntly pointed tip, appearing hooded, with a dorsal extension behind the tip into either a stiff awn or a minute, conical to triangular, blunt to sharp point, green or yellowish-tinged to orange or brown, the margins thin or papery and white or translucent. Petals absent. Stamens 5, the filaments distinct or fused at the base. Staminodes absent or 5 and narrowly linear to hairlike. Pistil with 1 locule, sessile. Style(s) 1 and 2-lobed toward the tip or 2 and distinct, with the stigmatic area subterminal or along the inner surface. Fruits achenelike, 1-seeded and indehiscent. Seeds 0.7–1.1 mm wide, ellipsoid to nearly globose, the surface smooth and shiny, brown or black, lacking wings or appendages. About 110 species, North America, Europe, Asia, Africa.


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1 1. Plants perennial, forming dense clumps, the stems usually several, ascending from a usually spreading basal portion; leaf blades narrowly linear to linear; sepals with a short, awnlike dorsal appendage from just behind the tip, this 0.4–1.1 mm long ... 3. P. VIRGINICA

Paronychia virginica
2 1. Plants annual, the stem usually solitary, erect toward the base; leaf blades narrowly oblanceolate to obovate or elliptic; sepals with a minute, conical to triangular dorsal appendage from just behind the tip, this 0.05–0.3 mm long

3 2. Stems glabrous; flowers appearing solitary and axillary; sepals prominently 3-nerved ... 1. P. CANADENSIS

Paronychia canadensis
4 2. Stems minutely hairy, mostly on one side; flowers in dense terminal clusters; sepals nerveless ... 2. P. FASTIGIATA Paronychia fastigiata
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