Antarctic pearlwort Colobanthus quitensis, copyright Patricio Novoa Quezada.

Belongs within: Caryophyllaceae.

Colobanthus is a genus of small tufted herbs found primarily in montane and southern regions of Australasia and South America (Harden 1990).

Characters (from Harden 1990): Small tufted perennial herbs, much branched from base. Leaves sessile, imbricate, narrow-linear to triangular, sometimes rigid and pungent or ending in a fine hair. Flowers bisexual, solitary, on slender or thickened pedicels. Sepals 5, free, acute to obtuse. Petals absent. Stamens usually 5, alternating with sepals. Ovary 1-locular; styles 5. Capsule as long as or longer than calyx, opening by 5 obtuse teeth; seeds ovoid to globose, numerous.

<==Colobanthus Bartl. 1830 A61
    |--C. acicularis Hook. f. 1864 A61
    |--C. affinis (Hook.) Hook. f. 1855 [=Spergula affinis Hook. 1840] A61
    |--C. apetalus (Labill.) Druce 1917 [=Spergula apetala Labill. 1804; incl. C. billardieri Fenzl 1836] A61
    |    |--C. a. var. apetalus A61
    |    `--C. a. var. alpinus (Kirk) Moore in Allan 1961 (see below for synonymy) A61
    |--C. brevisepalus Kirk 1895 A61
    |--C. buchananii Kirk 1895 A61
    |--C. caespitosus Colenso 1895 A61
    |--C. canaliculatus Kirk 1895 [incl. C. squarrosus Cheesem. 1896] A61
    |--C. crassifolius [=Sagina crassifolia D’Urville 1826] A61
    |--C. hookeri Cheesem. 1921 (see below for synonymy) A61
    |--C. kerguelensis SBG97
    |--C. masonae Moore in Allan 1961 A61
    |--C. monticola Petrie 1912 A61
    |--C. muelleri Kirk 1895 A61 (see below for synonymy)
    |--C. muscoides Hook. f. 1844 A61
    |--C. nivicola H90
    |--C. pulvinatus Mueller 1855 A61
    |--C. quitensis Bartl. in Presl 1831 A61
    |--C. repens Colenso 1887 A61
    |--C. strictus Cheesem. 1921 [=C. muelleri var. strictus Cheesem. 1906] A61
    `--C. wallii Petrie 1923 [incl. C. mollis Oliver 1926] A61

Colobanthus apetalus var. alpinus (Kirk) Moore in Allan 1961 [=C. billardieri var. alpinus Kirk 1895, C. crassifolius var. alpinus (Kirk) Cheesem. 1925] A61

Colobanthus hookeri Cheesem. 1921 [incl. C. benthamianus Cheesem. 1906 non Fenzl 1836, C. subulatus Hook. f. 1844 non Sagina subulata Urv. 1826] A61

Colobanthus muelleri Kirk 1895 A61 [incl. C. billardieri var. brachypoda Muell. 1864 A61, C. billardieri var. multicaulis Kirk 1895 A61, C. muelleri var. multicaulis C06]

*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).

[C06] Cheeseman, T. F. 1906. Manual of the New Zealand Flora. John Mackay, Government Printer: Wellington.

[H90] Harden, G. J. (ed.) 1990. Flora of New South Wales vol. 1. New South Wales University Press.

[SBG97] StarĂ½, J., W. Block & P. Greenslade. 1997. Oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida) of sub-Antarctic Heard Island. Journal of Natural History 31: 545–553.

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