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Stellaria angustifolia Hook.
Family Caryophyllaceae
Common name: Swamp Starwort

Stellaria angustifolia Hook. APNI*

Synonyms: Stellaria caespitosa Hook.f. APNI*

Description: Weak trailing perennial, stems glabrous, 4-angled.

Leaves linear to narrow-lanceolate, 10–40 mm long, c. 1 mm wide, apex obtuse to acute, not rigid; margins entire to toothed; sessile.

Flowers solitary or in 3-flowered cymes; pedicels 6–45 mm long. Sepals lanceolate, 2–8 mm long, with wide scarious margins. Petals ± longer than sepals, mostly deeply bifid.

Capsule ovoid, ± as long as calyx.

Photo J. R. Hosking

Photo J. R. Hosking



Flowering: September–December

Distribution and occurrence: Grows in swamps and seasonally flooded sites, climbing over and through larger plants.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, NWP, SWP, NFWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. S.A.
AVH map***

This taxon is variable, treated as having three subspecies but further study of the variation is needed. It is regarded as an Australian endemic, distinct from the European species S. palustris (syn. S. glauca).

Text by A. Doust (19900; edited KL Wilson (Nov 2012)
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 1 (1990); CH Miller and JG West (2012)

 Key to the subspecies 
1Sepals (3-)4–8(-9) mm long, apex acute to acuminate; petals (3.5-)4.5–9 mm long, about equal to sepals; fertile stamens >3 mm longsubsp. angustifolia
Sepals 1.5–2.5 mm long, apex hooded; petals 2–3.2(-3.9) mm long, longer than to twice as sepals; fertile stamens <3 mm long2
2Sepals narrow-ovate to elliptic, apex obtuse or acute, hood never thickened; pedicel usually <20 mm long; seed covered in semi-inflated ridgessubsp. tenella
Sepals rounded to broad-elliptic, apex obtuse, hood sometimes thickened; pedicel >20 mm long; seed covered in slender, pointed prominent tubercles
                       Back to 1
subsp. rotundisepala

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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