23. Pseudostellaria Pax in H. G. A. Engler and K. Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam., ed. 2. 16c: 318. 1934.
Sticky starwort [Greek pseudo-, false, and genus Stellaria, alluding to resemblance
Ronald L. Hartman, Richard K. Rabeler
Krascheninikovia Turczaninow ex Fenzl in S. L. Endlicher, Gen. Pl. 13: 968. 1840, not Krascheninnikovia Gueldenstaedt 1772
Herbs, perennial. Taproots absent, rhizomes usually with spherical or elongate, tuberous thickenings or vertical fleshy roots, rooting at nodes. Stems ascending to erect, simple or branched, terete or 4-angled. Leaves connate proximally into sheath, sessile; blade 1-veined, linear to lanceolate or elliptic, not succulent, apex acute. Inflorescences terminal, open cymes, or flowers solitary; bracts paired, smaller, herbaceous or scarious. Pedicels recurved to reflexed from base or abruptly bent downward near distal end in fruit. Flowers: perianth and androecium hypogynous; sepals 5, distinct, green, narrowly ovate to lanceolate, 3-7 mm, herbaceous, margins white, scarious, apex obtuse or acute to acuminate, not hooded; petals 5 [absent in cleistogamous flowers], white, not clawed, blade apex 2-fid to V-shaped notch 10-1/ 5 of length; nectaries adnate to base of filaments opposite sepals, circular, thickened, 2-2 1/2 times filament width; stamens 5 or 10, arising from base of ovary; filaments distinct; styles 3, capitate to clavate, 2-4.5 mm, glabrous proximally; stigmas 3, terminal or linear along adaxial surface of styles, minutely papillate (30×). Capsules ovoid, opening by 6, ± 2-3 times recoiled valves; carpophore absent. Seeds 1-3, red-brown or brown, circular to oblong or elliptic, plump or laterally compressed, tuberculate, marginal wing absent, appendage absent. x = 8.
Species 21 (3 in the flora): w United States, se Europe, e Asia.
We follow W. A. Weber and R. L. Hartman (1979) in recognizing Pseudostellaria in North America. The combination of a V-shaped petal sinus cut to only 10- 5 of the petal length, often tuberous rhizomes and thickened roots, and the more or less recoiled capsule valves segregates our species from Stellaria. The relationship between the North American and Asian species requires further investigation. While the seeds of P. sierrae and P. oxyphylla closely resemble those of P. rupestris (Turczaninow) Pax, the type species, the presence of five (rather than ten) stamens, absence of tubers, and absence of cleistogamous flowers complicate placing our species in the current infrageneric classification (M. Mizushina 1965).