Description: Small annual or perennial herbs, glabrous.
Leaves subulate, fused at the base; stipules absent.
Flowers bisexual, solitary or in terminal cymes. Sepals usually 4, free, obtuse-tipped, hooded, green with scarious margins, spreading in the ripe fruit. Petals mostly absent, if present usually 4 and minute, white. Stamens as many as or twice as many as sepals. Ovary 1-locular; styles 4 or 5.
Capsule with 4 or 5 teeth, splitting almost to base, as long as or longer than the sepals; seeds numerous, reddish brown.
Flowering: Flowers spring–summer.
Distribution and occurrence: Weeds of cultivation. World: c. 20 species, chiefly northern temperate regions. Australia: 3 species (naturalized), N.S.W., Vic., Tas., S.A., W.A.
Text by A. Doust
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Erect annual herb with a tap root and nodes never producing roots; inflorescence a terminal cyme||Sagina apetala|
|Perennial herb with fibrous roots, often rooting at lower branch nodes; flowers solitary, terminal or axillary||2|
|2||Leaves 0.5–1 mm wide, apex acuminate and shortly awned; seeds with dorsal margin flattened or grooved||Sagina procumbens|
|Leaves 0.3–0.5 mm wide, apex acute, awnless; seeds with a dorsal margin rounded, never flattened or grooved|
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