Stellaria americana

(Porter ex B. L. Robinson) Standley

Contr. U. S. Natl. Herb. 22: 336. 1921.

Common names: American starwort
Basionym: Stellaria dichotoma var. americana Porter ex B. L. Robinson Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 29: 289. 1894
Synonyms: Alsine americana (Porter ex B. L. Robinson) Rydberg Arenaria stephaniana var. americana (Porter ex B. L. Robinson) Shinners
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 5. Treatment on page 100. Mentioned on page 96, 99.
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Plants perennial, forming loose, prostrate mats, from rhizomatous rootstocks. Stems spreading, branched, very leafy, 4-angled, 10–20 cm, short glandular-puberulent on internodes. Leaves sessile; blade ovate to ovate-lanceolate, widest at or above middle, 8–30 × 2–13 mm, base round to cuneate, margins not scarious, apex usually obtuse, viscid. Inflorescences terminal, 1–5-flowered, very leafy cymes; bracts foliaceous. Pedicels ca. 10 mm in flower, elongating, recurved, and tortuous in fruit, glandular-pubescent, pushing capsule into substrate. Flowers 5–10 mm; sepals 5, obscurely veined, ovate-obtuse, 3–5 mm, margins narrow, scarious, glandular-pubescent; petals 5, 4–6 mm; stamens 5; styles 3, ascending, equaling petals. Capsules green to straw colored, broadly ovoid to globose, 5–6 mm, apex obtuse, tardily dehiscent with 3 valves; carpophore absent. Seeds 3–6, rusty brown, ± ovate, ca. 2.5 mm diam., finely tuberculate.

Phenology: Flowering late Jul–Aug.
Habitat: Rocky slopes, talus
Elevation: 1400-2800 m


Stellaria americana is remarkable for its tortuous fruiting pedicels, which push the opening capsule with its small number of large seeds into the substrate.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Stellaria americana"
John K. Morton +
(Porter ex B. L. Robinson) Standley +
Stellaria dichotoma var. americana +
American starwort +
Alta. +  and Mont. +
1400-2800 m +
Rocky slopes, talus +
Flowering late Jul–Aug. +
Contr. U. S. Natl. Herb. +
Alsine americana +  and Arenaria stephaniana var. americana +
Stellaria americana +
Stellaria +
species +