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Genus Cerastium Family Caryophyllaceae

Description: Annual to perennial herbs with glandular or non-glandular hairs.

Leaves usually sessile with apex obtuse, rounded to mucronate.

Flowers pedicellate, numerous, in cymes; bracts herbaceous, with or without scarious margins. Sepals 5, free, with scarious margins. Petals 5, bifid or emarginate. Stamens 5 or 10. Styles 5.

Capsule longer than the calyx, curved, opening by 10 short teeth; seeds numerous, brown, finely or bluntly tubercled.


Flower
Photo L. von Richter

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 60 species, cosmopolitan. Australia: 6 species (naturalized), all States.

Text by A. Doust
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
+Also apparently naturalised in NSWCerastium pumilum
+Also apparently naturalised in NSWCerastium fontanum
1Sepals with hairs that continue to and project past the apexCerastium glomeratum
Sepals with hairs confined to the herbaceous parts, not continuing to and projecting past the apex2
2Capsule 3.5–6.5 mm long, usually slightly longer than the calyx; stamens 5Cerastium balearicum
Capsule 8–11 mm long, about twice as long as the calyx; stamens 10
                       Back to 1
Cerastium vulgare

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