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Genus Arenaria Family Caryophyllaceae

Description: Annual herbs, stems branching, slender, scabrous to hairy.

Leaves ovate, acute to apiculate, scabrous with scattered multicellular hairs, margins ciliate.

Flowers in cymes. Sepals 5, free. Petals 5, free, shorter than sepals, entire, white.

Capsule ± broad-ovoid, usually slightly exceeding the calyx, opening by 6 short teeth; seeds numerous, reniform, minute.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 250 species, northern temperate, chiefly Europe, northern Africa & Asia. Australia: 2 species (naturalized), N.S.W., Vic., Tas., S.A., W.A.

Text by A. Doust
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Leaves sessile, 3–5 mm long, 2–3 mm wide; sepals ovate to lanceolate; capsule ovoid to globose or urn-shaped, swollen at base with curved sidesArenaria serpyllifolia
Leaves occasionally petiolate, 2–8 mm long, 2–2.5 mm wide; sepals lanceolate to narrow-lanceolate; capsule oblong- conical, only slightly widened at baseArenaria leptoclados

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