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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 5 | Caryophyllaceae

4. Polycarpaea Lamarck, J. Hist. Nat. 2: 3, 5, plate 25. 1792. (as Polycarpea).
[name conserved]

[Greek poly-, numerous, and karpos, fruit, alluding to the numerous capsules]

John W. Thieret, Richard K. Rabeler

Herbs [small shrubs], annual [perennial]. Taproots slender to stout. Stems erect, branched, terete. Leaves opposite, sometimes appearing whorled, not connate, short-petiolate (basal leaves) or sessile (cauline leaves); stipules 2 per node, white, lanceolate, margins entire, apex hairlike; blade 1-veined, oblong-ovate to suborbiculate (basal leaves), subulate to linear (cauline leaves), not succulent, apex acute or hairlike. Inflorescences terminal, compact to loose cymes; bracts paired, scarious. Pedicels erect or spreading. Flowers: perianth and androecium perigynous; hypanthium cup-shaped, not abruptly expanded distally; sepals distinct, silvery with brown midrib, ovate to lanceolate, not keeled, 2.2-3.1 mm, scarious, margins scarious, apex acute; petals 5, pink, blade apex irregularly toothed or entire; nectaries between filament bases; stamens 5; filaments distinct; style 1, filiform, minute, less than 0.1 mm, glabrous proximally; stigmas 3, subcapitate, smooth to obscurely papillate (50×). Capsules ellipsoid, opening by 3 recurved valves; carpophore present. Seeds 5-8, tan, translucent, pyriform, not compressed, rugulose, marginal wing absent, appendage absent. x = 9.

Species ca. 50 (1 in the flora): introduced; Florida, tropics and subtropics, chiefly Old World.


Bakker, K. 1957. Revision of the genus Polycarpaea (Caryoph.) in Malaysia. Acta Bot. Neerl. 6: 48-53. Gagnepain, F. 1908. Contribution à la connaissance du genre Polycarpaea Lamk. J. Bot. (Morot), sér. 2, 1: 275-280. Lakela, O. 1962. Occurrence of species of Polycarpaea Lam. (Caryophyllaceae) in North America. Rhodora 64: 179-182. Lakela, O. 1963. Annotation of North American Polycarpaea. Rhodora 65: 35-44. Sundaramoorthy, S. and D. N. Sen. 1988. Ecology of Indian arid zone weeds. XI. Polycarpaea corymbosa (Linn.) Lamk. Geobios (Jodhpur) 15: 235-237.

Lower Taxon


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