PlantNET Home PlantNET Home | Search NSW Flora | Contact Us  
FloraOnline
Introduction
Plant Name Search
Index Search
Spatial Search
Identification Keys
Classification
Glossary
HerbLink (Type Images)
WeedAlert
Other PlantNET Sites
Other Data Sources
NEW SOUTH WALES FLORA ONLINE Printable Page

Genus Scleranthus Family Caryophyllaceae

Description: Small much-branched annual to perennial herbs.

Leaves linear to subulate, margins ciliate; stipules absent.

Flowers terminal or axillary, sessile or pedicellate, solitary, paired or in dense clusters. Calyx lobes mostly 5, erect or spreading; calyx tube becoming hard and swollen and enclosing the fruit. Petals absent. Stamens 1–10, staminodes occasionally present. Ovary 1-locular; styles and stigmas 2.

Fruit usually a 1-seeded indehiscent nutlet, falling enclosed by persistent enlarged calyx.


Photo © ANBG

Herbarium
Sheet

Herbarium
Sheet

Distribution and occurrence: World: 12 species, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand. Australia: 10 species (9 species native, 1 species naturalized), Qld, N.S.W., Vic., Tas., S.A.

Cushion and mat-forming species occasionally cultivated horticulturally in cooler areas. These include S. biflorus and S. uniflorus from New Zealand.

Text by A. Doust (1990); edited KL Wilson (Feb 2014; Sept 2015)
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Calyx lobes erect, very much shorter than the calyx tube; stamen 12
Calyx lobes more or less spreading, at least as long as the calyx tube; stamens 2–106
2Flowers solitary on scabrous peduncles; bracts 2Scleranthus singuliflorus
Flowers paired on glabrous or hairy peduncles; bracts 4
                       Back to 1
3
3Stems and bracts with some hairs; leaves in fascicles; plant usually prostrate, spreading, straggly and lax4
Stems and bracts glabrous; leaves not in fascicles; plant usually cushion-like, dense, compact
                       Back to 2
5
4Diaspore (fruit and surrounding persistent calyx) urceolate, i.e. with a well-defined 'neck' at the base of the sepal lobes, with strongly thickened longitudinal ribs; lobes incurved to apexScleranthus sp. Fitzs Hill (J.G.West 5342) Australian National Herbarium
Diaspore ovate, i.e. lacking a well-defined neck, with obscure or narrow longitudinal ribs; lobes more or less straight, coming to a point at the apex
                       Back to 3
Scleranthus fasciculatus
5Sepals 4; stamens level with or exserted beyond top of sepals, long-persistentScleranthus biflorus
Sepals 5; stamens shorter than sepals, shed early
                       Back to 3
Scleranthus brockiei
6Flowers shortly pedicellate; calyx lobes linear, sometimes with narrow, scarious margins7
Flowers not pedicellate; calyx lobes lanceolate, often with wide scarious margins
                       Back to 1
8
7Leaves crowded together in pseudwhorls separated by internodes usually more than 8 mm long; stamens 5–10Scleranthus annuus
Leaves not crowded together, distributed evenly along the stem; stamens 2
                       Back to 6
Scleranthus minusculus
8Leaves pungent; calyx lobes pungent; flowers with 5 stamens and 5 linear staminodesScleranthus pungens
Leaves acute but not pungent; calyx lobes more or less acute; stamens 2
                       Back to 6
Scleranthus diander

  Privacy | Copyright | Disclaimer | About PlantNET | Cite PlantNET