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9. Herniaria Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 218. 1753. Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 103. 1754.

Rupturewort, herniary, herniaire [Latin hernia, rupture, and -aria, pertaining to, alluding to use&nsbp;in&nsbp;treatment of hernias]

John W. Thieret, Ronald L. Hartman, Richard K. Rabeler

Herbs, annual, biennial, or perennial. Taproots slender. Stems ascending or spreading to often prostrate, much-branched from base, mat-forming, terete. Leaves opposite, or distalmost alternate (from reduction of 1 member of a pair), connate by a line of tissue between adjacent stipules, sessile or virtually so; stipules 2 per node, inconspicuous, white, ovate to deltate, margins ciliate, apex acute; blade 1-veined, oblanceolate to elliptic or suborbiculate, not succulent, apex acute to rounded. Inflorescences densely clustered cymes usually on short lateral branches opposite a leaf; bracts paired, resembling stipules, smaller. Pedicels: flowers sessile. Flowers: hypanthium cup-shaped, not abruptly expanded distally; sepals 5, distinct, greenish to whitish green, lanceolate to oblong, 0.5-1.5 mm, herbaceous, margins green, herbaceous, apex acute to subobtuse, not hooded, not awned; nectaries near inner surface of filament bases; stamens (2-)4-5; filaments distinct; staminodes 5, arising from hypanthium rim, subulate-filiform, inconspicuous; styles 2, connate in proximal 3, filiform, 0.1-0.4 mm, glabrous proximally; stigmas 2, linear along adaxial surfaces of style branches, papillate (100×). Utricles at least partly enclosed by hypanthium, opening irregularly. Seeds dark brown or black, ovoid to lenticular, slightly laterally compressed, shiny, smooth, marginal wing absent, appendage absent; embryo peripheral, curved. x = 9.

Species ca. 45 (2 in the flora): introduced; South America (Andes), Europe, c, w Asia, Africa; introduced elsewhere.


Akeroyd, J. R. 1993. Herniaria. In: T. G. Tutin et al., eds. 1993+. Flora Europaea, ed. 2. 1+ vol. Cambridge and New York. Vol. 1, pp. 182-184. Hermann, F. 1937. Übersicht über die Herniaria-Arten des Berliner Herbars. Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 42: 203-224. Williams, F. N. 1896. A revision of the genus Herniaria. Bull. Herb. Boissier 4: 556-570.

1 Flowers glabrous or minutely ciliate; leaf blades glabrous or sometimes minutely ciliate; plants green, glabrous or pubescent   1 Herniaria glabra
+ Flowers densely pubescent; leaf blades hirsute or ciliate; plants gray-green, densely pubescent   2 Herniaria hirsuta

Lower Taxa


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