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

23. Cerastium terrae-novae Fernald & Wiegand, Rhodora. 22: 176. 1921.

Newfoundland mouse-ear chickweed

Cerastium beeringianum Chamisso & Schlechtendal subsp. terrae-novae (Fernald & Wiegand) Hultén

Plants perennial, tufted, rhizom-atous. Stems loosely ascending to suberect, branched, very leafy, 10-15 cm, pubescence short, dense, glandular; small axillary tufts of leaves usually absent. Leaves tending to be marcescent, sessile but spatulate proximally; blade elliptic-oblong, 5-14 × 1.5-3.5 mm, apex obtuse, densely glandular-hirsute. Inflorescences lax, 1-3-flowered cymes; bracts ovate-lanceolate, margins very narrow, scarious, glandular-pubescent. Pedicels mostly erect, slender, 10-25 mm, 1-4 times as long as sepals, densely glandular-pubescent. Flowers: sepals ovate-oblong, 5.5-6.5 mm, elongating to 6-7 mm in fruit, margins broad, apex obtuse, glandular-pubescent; petals narrowly oblanceolate, 7-10 mm, 1.5-2 times as long as sepals, apex 2-fid; stamens 10; styles 5. Capsules ovate-cylindric, ca. straight, short, broad, 9-13 mm, ca. 2 times as long as sepals; teeth 10, erect or partially spreading, margins convolute. Seeds brown, 1.3-1.7 mm diam., with prominent papillae around margins and rows of small, transverse ridges on sides; testa inflated, loose (rubs off when rolled between finger and thumb). 2n = 108.

Flowering summer. Serpentine gravel, sands, rocky tablelands; 20-700 m; Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.).

Cerastium terrae-novae is the only member of the European C. nigrescens group of species to occur in North America. The group is distinguished by large seeds with loose testae. Cerastium terrae-novae is distinguished by its narrowly elliptic leaves, usually purple-suffused stems and sepals, broad, straight capsule, short pubescence, and poorly developed inflorescence that often is reduced to a single flower.


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