12. Spergula L., Sp. Pl. 440. 1753. Gen. Pl. ed. 5.189.1754; Boiss., Fl. Or. 1:731.1867: Edgew. & Hook. f. in Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 1:243.1874; Schischk. in Kom., Fl. URSS. 6:550.1936; J. A. Ratter in Davis, Fl. Turk. 2:92.1967 & in Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 144.27.1980.
SHAHINA A. GHAZANFAR & YASIN J. NASIR
Annual or perennial herbs. Stems decumbent to ascending, often profusely branching at the base. Leaves opposite and decussate; stipules scarious, not connate at the base, short, axillary branches present. Sepals 5, green with hyaline margins. Petals 5, white, entire. Stamens 5-10. Styles 3-5(3 in Pakistan species). Capsule dehiscing by 3-5 valves (3 in Pakistan species). Seeds winged or not.
A small genus centred in the temperate regions with 5 species, including S. arvensis a cosmopolitan weed. Represented in Pakistan by 2 species.
The frequently used characters of 3 styles and the capsule dehiscing by 3 valves do not hold good in our area in separating from Spergularia (styles 3, capsule dehiscing by 3 valves). The presence of connate stipules in Spergularia and stipules not connate in Spergula is more satisfactory in separating the genera as they occur in Pakistan.