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Genus Holosteum Family Caryophyllaceae

Description: Herbs, annual or short-lived perennial; taproot slender. Stems ascending to erect, simple or branched, terete.

Leaves forming basal rosette, connate near base to form a sheath, petiolate to sessile, oblanceolate to spathulate (lower leaves) or elliptic to ovate (upper leaves), somewhat fleshy, apex acute.

Inflorescences terminal, umbellate cymes; bracts clustered, leafy; pedicels reflexed after flowering but erect in fruit. Flowers bisexual or occasionally unisexual; sepals 5, green with white margins; petals 5, white to pink, clawed; nectaries not apparent; stamens 3–5; stigmas 3(-5).

Capsules ovoid to cylindrical, oepning by 6 (arely 8–10) revolute teeth; seeds orange to brown, shield-shaped. without a wing or appendage.


Distribution and occurrence: World: 3 or 4 species, native to Europe and Mediterranean region; Australia: 1 species possibly naturalised

Text by KL Wilson (Oct 2015) based on RK Rabeler and RL Hartman, Flora of North America vol 5
Taxon concept: RK Rabeler and RL Hartman, Flora of North America vol 5

One species in NSW: Holosteum umbellatum

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