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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 5 | Caryophyllaceae | Stellaria

13. Stellaria holostea Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 422. 1753.

Greater stitchwort, Easter-bell

Alsine holostea (Linnaeus) Britton

Plants perennial, scrambling to ascending, from slender, creeping rhizomes. Stems branched dis­-tally, 4-angled, 15-60 cm, glabrous or hispid-puberulent distally. Leaves sessile; blade narrowly lanceolate, widest near base, 4-8 cm × 2-10 mm, somewhat coriaceous, base round and clasping, margins and abaxial midrib very rough, apex narrowly and sharply acuminate, scabrid, otherwise glabrous, slightly glaucous. Inflorescences terminal, loose, 3-31-flowered cymes; bracts foliaceous, 5-50 mm, margins and abaxial midrib scabrid. Pedicels ascending, 1-60 mm, slender, pubescent. Flowers 20-30 mm diam.; sepals 5, inconspicuously 3-veined, ovate-lanceolate, 6-8 mm, margins narrow, scarious, apex acute, glabrous; petals 5 (rarely absent), 8-14 mm, longer than sepals, blade apex 2-fid to middle; stamens 10, sometimes fewer by degeneration; styles 3, ascending, ca. 4 mm. Capsules green, subglobose, 5-6 mm, ± equaling sepals, apex obtuse, opening by 3 valves, tardily splitting into 6; carpophore absent. Seeds reddish brown, reniform, 2-3 mm diam., papillose. 2n = 26 (Europe).

Flowering spring. Woodlands, hedgerows; 0-500 m; introduced; Conn., Mass., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa.; Eurasia.

Stellaria holostea is sometimes cultivated and occasionally naturalizes.


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