Fourleaf manyseed Polycarpon tetraphyllum, copyright Forest & Kim Starr.

Belongs within: Caryophyllales.
Contains: Arenaria, Cerastium, Silene, Stellaria, Colobanthus, Dianthus, Minuartia.

The Caryophyllaceae are a cosmopolitan family of herbaceous plants, most diverse in temperate regions. Familiar representatives include Dianthus (pinks), Stellaria (chickweeds) and Gypsophila (baby's breath). Some species have become widespread as pasture weeds. In members of the subfamily Illecebroideae, stipules are present on the leaves; other subfamilies lack stipules. The Caryophylloideae have flowers with sepals more or less fused at the base, whereas Minuartoideae and Illecebroideae have free sepals.

Characters (from Allan 1961): Annual to perennial herbs; leaves usually simple, entire, opposite, often connate, or with scarious stipules. Flowers in simple to compound cymes, or solitary; usually perfect, hypogynous or perigynous; sepals 4-5, free or joined below; petals as many as sepals, often small or absent, free, often bifid or emarginate; stamens up to 10, anthers dehiscing longitudinally; ovary one-celled, at least in upper part, ovules 1 to many on basal or free-central placenta, embryo usually curved; fruit usually a dry capsule opening by teeth or valves.


<==Caryophyllaceae [Caryophyllineae]
    |--Caryophylleae [Caryophylloideae] M99
    |    |--Caryophyllus aromaticus C55b
    |    `--Dianthus M99
    |--Minuartioideae [Alsinoideae] T00
    |    |--Minuartia KB96
    |    `--Alsine C55b
    |         |--A. biflora [=Stellaria biflora] C55b
    |         |--A. media C55b
    |         `--A. stricta [=Spergula stricta; incl. Arenaria uliginosa] C55b
    `--Paronychieae C74 [Illecebroideae T00, Paronychioideae]
         |--Paronychia argentea C74
         `--Polycarpon C74
              |--P. alsinaefolium C55b
              |--P. peploides C74
              |--P. prostratum P03
              `--P. tetraphyllum (Linnaeus) Linnaeus 1759 PL04

Caryophyllaceae incertae sedis:
  Geocarpon T00
  Dicheranthus YY22
  Melandrium YY22
    |--M. album GM96
    `--M. magellanicum D03
  Thylacospermum caespitosum O88
  Arenaria PL04
  Cerastium PL04
  Drymaria D07
    |--D. cordata O88
    `--D. villosa D07
  Gypsophila O88
    |--G. cerastioides O88
    `--G. petraea H09
  Lepyrodiclis holosteoides O88
  Silene KB96
  Stellaria D07
  Moenchia mantica Y98
  Herniaria PT98
    |--H. alpina C55a
    `--H. hirsuta PT98
  Petrorhagia PL04
    |--P. armerioides (Seringe) Ball & Heywood 1964 PL04
    |--P. prolifera GK00
    `--P. velutina GK00
  Sagina PT98
    |--S. apetala PT98
    |--S. erecta C55b
    |--S. maritima PT98
    | --S. procumbens PAE98
    `--S. truncata Colenso 1895 A61
  Spergularia Presl & Presl 1819 A61
    |--S. bocconei PT98
    |--S. marginata (DC.) Kittel 1844 (see below for synonymy) A61
    `--S. rupicola G60
  Bolanthus graecus (von Schreber) Barkoudah 1962 PL04
  Scleranthus Linnaeus 1753 A61
    |--S. biflorus (Forster & Forster) Hook. f. 1852 (see below for synonymy) A61
    |--S. brockiei Williamson 1956 A61
    |--S. perennis KB96
    |    |--S. p. ssp. perennis KB96
    |    `--S. p. ssp. dichotomus KB96
    |--S. singuliflorus [=Mniarum singuliflorum Muell. 1855; incl. S. mniaroides Muell. 1855] A61
    `--S. uniflorus Williamson 1956 [=S. biflorus var. uniflorus Ckn. ex Simpson & Thomson 1941 (n. n.)] A61
  Viscaria alpina KB96
  Spergula VB02
    |--S. arvensis C55b
    |--S. fallax VB02
    `--S. saginoides [incl. Sagina decumbens] C55a
  Corrigiola litoralis GK00
  Colobanthus A61
  Schiedea verticillata O94
  Agrostemma JK80
    |--A. aestivalis BO08
    |--A. flammea BO08
    `--A. githago JK80
  Polycarpaea LK14
    |--P. corymbosa LK14
    |--P. holtzei LK14
    |--P. incana LK14
    |--P. involucrata LK14
    |--P. longiflora LK14
    |--P. multicaulis LK14
    `--P. violacea LK14
  Lychnis P93
    |--L. alpina C55b
    |--L. flos-cuculi BN99
    `--L. githago C55b

Scleranthus biflorus (Forster & Forster) Hook. f. 1852 [=Mniarum biflorum Forster & Forster 1776; incl. Ditoca muscosa Banks & Sol. ex Gaertn. 1791] A61

Spergularia marginata (DC.) Kittel 1844 [=Arenaria marginata DC. 1805; incl. S. rubra var. marina Hook. f. 1864, S. media Presl 1826 non Arenaria media Linnaeus 1762, Arenara media Hook. f. 1852, S. media var. salina Kirk 1899] A61

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A61] Allan, H. H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand vol. 1. Indigenous Tracheophyta: Psilopsida, Lycopsida, Filicopsida, Gymnospermae, Dicotyledones. R. E. Owen, Government Printer: Wellington (New Zealand).

[BO08] Bönsel, D., I. Ottich, A. Malten & G. Zizka. 2008. An updated list of the vascular plants of Frankfurt am Main (Pteridophyta & Spermatophyta). Senckenbergiana Biologica 88 (1): 111–121.

[BN99] Bungener, P., S. Nussbaum, A. Grub & J. Fuhrer. 1999. Growth response of grassland species to ozone in relation to soil moisture condition and plant strategy. New Phytologist 142: 283–293.

[C55a] Candolle, A. de. 1855a. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 1. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[C55b] Candolle, A. de. 1855b. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 2. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[C74] Coineau, Y. 1974. Éléments pour une monographie morphologique, écologique et biologique des Caeculidae (Acariens). Mémoires du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, nouvelle série, Série A, Zoologie 81: 1–299, 24 pls.

[D07] Dash, S. S. 2007. Useful plants of Kabi Sacred Grove, Sikkim. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49 (1–4): 79–88.

[D03] Dusén, P. 1903. The vegetation of western Patagonia. In: Scott, W. B. (ed.) Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896–1899 vol. 8. Botany pp. 1–34. The University: Princeton (New Jersey).

[GK00] Gibson, N., & G. J. Keighery. 2000. Flora and vegetation of the Byenup-Muir reserve system, south-west Western Australia. CALMScience 3 (3): 323–402.

[G60] Gillham, M. E. 1960. Vegetation of Little Brother Island, Cook Strait, in relation to spray-bearing winds, soil salinity, and pH. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 88 (3): 405–424.

[GM96] Griffiths, A. J. F., J. H. Miller, D. T. Suzuki, R. C. Lewontin & W. M. Gelbart. 1996. An Introduction to Genetic Analysis 6th ed. W. H. Freeman and Company: New York.

[H09] Heltmann, H. 2009. Der Königstein (Piatra Craiului), die Perle der Burzenländer Gebirge. Mauritiana 20 (3): 515–527.

[KB96] Konstantinou, M., & D. Babalonas. 1996. Metal uptake by Caryophyllaceae species from metalliferous soils in northern Greece. Plant Systematics and Evolution 203: 1–10.

[LK14] Lyons, M. N., G. J. Keighery, L. A. Gibson & T. Handasyde. 2014. Flora and vegetation communities of selected islands off the Kimberley coast of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 81: 205–244.

[M99] Matthews, M. 1999. Heliothine Moths of Australia: A guide to bollworms and related noctuid groups. CSIRO Publishing.

[O88] Ohba, H. 1988. The alpine flora of the Nepal Himalayas: an introductory note. In: Ohba, H., & S. B. Malla (eds) The Himalayan Plants vol. 1. The University Museum, University of Tokyo, Bulletin 31: 19–46.

[O94] Otte, D. 1994. The Crickets of Hawaii: origin, systematics and evolution. The Orthopterists' Society: The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.

[PAE98] Pakeman, R. J., J. P. Attwood & J. Engelen. 1998. Sources of plants colonizing experimentally disturbed patches in an acidic grassland, in eastern England. Journal of Ecology 86: 1032–1041.

[PT98] Panitsa, M., & D. Tzanoudakis. 1998. Contribution to the study of the Greek flora: flora and vegetation of the E Aegean islands Agathonisi and Pharmakonisi. Willdenowia 28: 95–116.

[P03] Paul, T. K. 2003. Botanical observations on the Purulia pumped storage hydropower project area, Bagmundi Hills, Purulia district, West Bengal. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 45 (1–4): 121–142.

[P93] Pittaway, A. R. 1993. The Hawkmoths of the Western Palaearctic. Harley Books: Colchester.

[PL04] Pohl, G., & I. Lenski. 2004. Zur Verbreitung und Vergesellschaftung von Pennisetum orientale Rich. in Nordeuböa (Griechenland) (Poaceae, Paniceae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 83 (2): 209–223.

[T00] Thorne, R. F. 2000. The classification and geography of the flowering plants: dicotyledons of the class Angiospermae (subclasses Magnoliidae, Ranunculidae, Caryophyllidae, Dilleniidae, Rosidae, Asteridae, and Lamiidae). The Botanical Review 66: 441–647.

[VB02] Vijay, S. K., & T. N. Bhardwaja. 2002. Vegetation and phenodynamics of wetlands of central Rajasthan. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 99 (3): 573–581.

[YY22] Yampolsky, C., & H. Yampolsky. 1922. Distribution of sex forms in the phanerogamic flora. Bibliotheca Genetica 3: 1–62.

[Y98] Yannitsaros, A. 1998. Additions to the flora of Kithira (Greece) I. Willdenowia 28: 77–94.

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