Flora of China
  FOC Vol.6 (2001)              | Family List  Caryophyllaceae  PDF     | Link Font:+ Big | - Small
   1. Caryophyllaceae  A. L. Jussieu
石竹科   shi zhu ke
Authors:Lu Dequan; Michael G. Gilbert , Magnus Lidén , John McNeill , John K. Morton , Bengt Oxelman , Richard K. Rabeler , Mats Thulin, Nicholas J. Turland , Warren L. Wagner


Herbs annual or perennial, rarely subshrubs or shrubs. Stems and branches usually swollen at nodes. Leaves opposite, decussate, rarely alternate or verticillate, simple, entire, usually connate at base; stipules scarious, bristly, or often absent. Inflorescence of cymes or cymose panicles, rarely flowers solitary or few in racemes, capitula, pseudoverticillasters, or umbels. Flowers actinomorphic, bisexual, rarely unisexual, occasionally cleistogamous. Sepals (4 or)5, free, imbricate, or connate into a tube, leaflike or scarious, persistent, sometimes bracteate below calyx. Petals (4 or)5, rarely absent, free, often comprising claw and limb; limb entire or split, usually with coronal scales at juncture of claw and limb. Stamens (2--)5--10, in 1 or 2 series. Pistil 1; carpels 2--5, united into a compound ovary. Ovary superior, 1-loculed or basally imperfectly 2--5-loculed. Gynophore present or absent. Placentation free, central, rarely basal; ovules (1 or) few or numerous, campylotropous. Styles (1 or)2--5, sometimes united at base. Fruit usually a capsule, with pericarp crustaceous, scarious, or papery, dehiscing by teeth or valves 1 or 2 × as many as styles, rarely berrylike with irregular dehiscence or an achene. Seeds 1 to numerous, reniform, ovoid, or rarely dorsiventrally compressed, abaxially grooved, blunt, or sharply pointed, rarely fimbriate-pectinate; testa granular, striate or tuberculate, rarely smooth or spongy; embryo strongly curved and surrounding perisperm or straight but eccentric; perisperm mealy.

Between 75 and 80 genera and ca. 2000 species: widespread but mainly of temperate or warm-temperate occurrence in the N hemisphere, with principal centers of distribution in the Mediterranean region and W Asia to W China and the Himalayas, fewer species in Africa S of the Sahara, America, and Oceania; 30 genera (two endemic) and 390 species (193 endemic) in China.

Arenaria, Silene, and Stellaria contain over half the species in the family in China. They are mostly concentrated in the Qinghai-Xizang plateau, and are especially rich from the Hengduan Mountains to the Himalayas. The main uses of this family are medicinal and ornamental. Dianthus superbus, Pseudostellaria heterophylla, Stellaria dichotoma var. lanceolata, and Vaccaria hispanica are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. Some species of Arenaria, Dianthus, Gypsophila, Psammosilene, and Silene are used as medicinal herbs among the people or are habitually used in local Chinese medicine. Many species of Dianthus, Gypsophila, Lychnis, Saponaria, and Silene are grown as ornamentals. Atocion armeria (Linnaeus) Rafinesque ( Silene armeria Linnaeus), native to Russia and Europe, is also cultivated in China. It differs from Silene in having a corymbose inflorescence and obscure calyx veins. Wu Cheng-yih, Ke Ping, Zhou Li-hua, Tang Chang-lin & Lu De-quan. 1996. Caryophyllaceae. In: Tang Chang-lin, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 26: 47–449.

1Stipules present, rarely obscure (subfam. Paronychioideae).(2)
+Stipules absent.(8)
2(1)Fruit an achene; petals absent.(3)
+Fruit a capsule; petals present.(4)
3(2)Sepal apex aristate; pistil 3-carpeled; style apex 3-fid; leaves subulate-linear; shrublets1  Gymnocarpos    裸果木属
+Sepal apex not aristate; pistil 2-carpeled; style apex 2-fid; leaves oblong, elliptic, or subcordate; herbs perennial2  Herniaria    治疝草属
4(2)Styles free.(5)
+Styles connate at base or throughout.(6)
5(4)Styles 5; capsule 5-valved; leaves usually pseudoverticillate, stipules not connate3  Spergula    大爪草属
+Styles 3; capsule 3-valved; leaves decussate, stipules connate4  Spergularia    拟漆姑属
6(4)Sepals green, leaflike; petals 2--6-parted5  Drymaria    荷莲豆草属
+Sepals white, scarious; petals entire or 2-lobed.(7)
7(6)Sepals centrally ridged abaxially, hyaline at margin; style apex 3-lobed; leaves obovate or spatulate6  Polycarpon    多荚草属
+Sepals not ridged, hyaline throughout; style apex entire; leaves linear or oblong7  Polycarpaea    白鼓钉属
8(1)Sepals free, rarely connate at base; petals nearly clawless, rarely absent; stamens often perigynous (subfam. Alsinoideae).(9)
+Sepals connate into a distinct calyx tube; petals usually clawed; stamens hypogynous (subfam. Caryophylloideae).(23)
9(8)Flowers of 2 types: chasmogamous at stem apex, with petals, usually sterile; cleistogamous at stem base, without petals, fertile; plants with fleshy root tubers8  Pseudostellaria    孩儿参属
+Flowers not of 2 types: cleistogamous flowers absent; plants usually without fleshy root tubers.(10)
10(9)Capsule teeth as many as styles.(11)
+Capsule teeth 2 × as many as styles.(14)
11(10)Styles 4 or 5; petals shorter than or equaling sepals, rarely absent.(12)
+Styles 2 or 3; petals longer than sepals.(13)
12(11)Petals entire9  Sagina    漆姑草属
+Petals 2-fid10  Stellaria    繁缕属
13(11)Styles 3; seeds numerous11  Minuartia    米努草属
+Styles 2(or 3); seeds 1 or 212  Lepyrodiclis    薄蒴草属
14(10)Styles (4 or)5.(15)
+Styles (2 or)3(or 4).(17)
15(14)Petals 2-fid for up to 1/3 their length, retuse, or rarely entire; capsule cylindric, usually greatly exceeding calyx, apex 8--10-toothed13  Cerastium    卷耳属
+Petals deeply 2-fid; capsule ovoid to shortly cylindric, shorter than or slightly exceeding calyx, apex 10-toothed, or 5-valved to middle with valves 2-fid at apex.(16)
16(15)Capsule shortly cylindric, shorter than calyx, apex 10-toothed; styles episepalous14  Pseudocerastium    假卷耳属
+Capsule ovoid, slightly exceeding calyx, 5-valved to middle, valves 2-fid at apex; styles alternisepalous15  Myosoton    鹅肠菜属
17(14)Petals 2-fid, rarely absent, lobes not toothed at apex.(18)
+Petals entire, rarely emarginate, toothed, or 2-fid with toothed lobes.(19)
18(17)Petals 2-fid for up to 1/3 their length; capsule cylindric, toothed at apex13  Cerastium    卷耳属
+Petals deeply 2-fid, rarely absent; capsule ovoid or globose, opening by valves10  Stellaria    繁缕属
19(17)Sepals connate below middle; seed testa spongy16  Thylacospermum    囊种草属
+Sepals free; seed testa not spongy.(20)
20(19)Seeds with membranous strophiole17  Moehringia    种阜草属
+Seeds without strophiole.(21)
21(20)Inflorescence umbellate; capsule cylindric; seeds dorsiventrally compressed18  Holosteum    硬骨草属
+Inflorescence cymose, paniculate, or flowers solitary; capsule ovoid or oblong; seeds reniform or globose.(22)
22(21)Seeds few or numerous, rarely 1; sepals herbaceous; petals shorter or longer than sepals; herbs erect, diffuse, or cushionlike19  Arenaria    无心菜属
+Seed 1; sepals subscarious, semihyaline; petals much shorter than sepals; herbs climbing20  Brachystemma    短瓣花属
23(8)Styles 3 or 5.(24)
+Styles 2(or 3).(27)
24(23)Fruit berrylike, drying when mature; irregularly dehiscent (Silene baccifera)21  Silene    蝇子草属
+Fruit a capsule, with regular teeth.(25)
25(24)Calyx lobes leaflike, longer than tube; styles hairy22  Agrostemma    麦仙翁属
+Calyx teeth shorter than tube; styles glabrous.(26)
26(25)Capsule septicidal, 5-toothed; style base reflexed and persistent in fruit23  Lychnis    剪秋罗属
+Capsule loculicidal (usually also septicidal), 6- or 10-toothed; style base not persistent in fruit21  Silene    蝇子草属
27(23)Calyx 5-winged24  Vaccaria    麦蓝菜属
+Calyx wingless.(28)
28(27)Calyx with 1 to several pairs of bracts at base; seeds dorsiventrally compressed25  Dianthus    石竹属
+Calyx without bracts at base; seeds reniform or ± so, rarely dorsiventrally compressed.(29)
29(28)Capsule membranous proximally, irregularly transversely dehiscent; seeds 1 or 2; leaves spiny26  Acanthophyllum    刺叶属
+Capsule dry and brittle, 4-toothed or valved; seeds numerous; leaves not spiny.(30)
30(29)Petals without coronal scales.(31)
+Petals with coronal scales27  Saponaria    肥皂草属
31(30)Stamens 5; calyx 15-veined28  Psammosilene    金铁锁属
+Stamens 10; calyx 5-veined.(32)
32(31)Seeds reniform29  Gypsophila    石头花属
+Seeds dorsiventrally compressed30  Petrorhagia    膜萼花属
   List of lower taxa