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Published In: Genera Plantarum 299. 1789. (4 Aug 1789) (Gen. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/9/2012)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project data     (Last Modified On 10/28/2012)

About 90 genera and over 2000 species, mainly in temperate regions of the northern hemisphere; some genera also in the southern hemisphere and in mountains of the tropics. 

The family is subdivided into 3 subfamilies: Alsinoideae, Silenoideae (Caryophylloideae) and Paronychioideae. Most genera of these subfamilies are represented in the Flora Palaestina. In the Alsinoideae: Arenaria, Bolanthus, Cerastium, Holosteum, Minuartia, Moenchia, Sagina, Scleranthus, Stellaria

In the Silenoideae: Agrostemma, Ankyropetalum, Bufonia, Dianthus, Gypsophila, Petrorhagia, Saponaria, Silene, Vaccaria, Velezia

In the Paronychioideae: Cometes, Corrigiola, Gymnocarpos, Herniaria, Loeflingia, Paronychia, Polycarpaea, Polycarpon, Pteranthus, Sclerocephalus, Spergula, Spergularia, Telephium.

Literature: Pax F. & Hoffmann K., Caryophyllaceae, in: Engler u. Prantl, Natürl. Pflanzenfam. ed. 2, 16c: 275-367 (1934). Rohweder H., Weitere Beitrage zur Systematik und Phylogenie der Caryophyllaceen unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der karyologischen Verhaltnisse, Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 59, 2: 1-58 (1938). Janchen E., Naturgemasse Anordnung der mittel-europaichen Gattungen der Silenoideae, Österr. Bot. Zeitschr. 102: 381-386 (1955). Kubitzki K. & al. (eds.), The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants, vol. Dicotyledons (1993).


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Annual or perennial herbs, rarely half-shrubs. Leaves opposite (very rarely alternate), decussate, simple, entire, with or without stipules. Inflorescences mostly of mono-, di- or pleiochasial cymes, rarely flowers solitary and terminal. Flowers hermaphrodite (rarely unisexual and then plants dioecious), actinomorphic. Perianth usually composed of calyx and corolla, rarely simple and sepaloid. Calyx mostly of 5 (4) sepals, connate (by scarious strips of tissue - commissures) or free, sometimes subtended by bracts. Corolla of 5 (4) entire, lobed or dentate, sessile or clawed petals; apex of claw with or without scales. Stamens of same number as petals or twice as many, rarely fewer. Pistil 1; carpels usually 2-5; ovary superior, 1-celled with central placentation or 3-5-celled with axile placentation in lower and central in upper parts (in 1- or few-ovuled ovaries placentation basal); styles and stigmas 2-5 (rarely 1). Fruit a capsule dehiscing by valves or teeth equalling the styles in number or twice as many or fruit an indehiscent achene or utricle (or berry). Seeds often numerous sometimes few, with copious endosperm, usually surrounded by the embryo.



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