Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Herbs with stems usually swollen at nodes, rarely (not in Australia) small shrubs. Leaves simple, entire, opposite with bases often connate, rarely alternate, stipules present or absent. Inflorescence usually a dichasial or occasionally partially monochasial cyme, rarely a compact head or flowers solitary. Flowers actinomorphic, bisexual, rarely unisexual and dioecious; sepals 4–5, free or connate into calyx-tube, usually with nectary-ring; petals (rarely absent) 4–5, free, often bifid; stamens (rarely 1) 5–10, hypogynous to subperigynous, filaments free or basally adnate to petals or sepals, anthers dehiscing by longitudinal slits; ovary superior, often with gynophore, syncarpous with 2–5 carpels, unilocular at least above, styles free or more or less united, stigmas dry, ovules numerous to solitary, placentation basal or free-central. Fruit a capsule with apical valves as many or twice as many as styles, or an achene or indehiscent nutlet, rarely (not in Australia) a berry; seed with a curved or straight embryo usually eccentric, starchy perisperm abundant, true endosperm usually absent.

Some 80 genera with over 2000 species, cosmopolitan but mainly Northern Hemisphere, widely distributed in cool- to warm-temperate regions but with a concentration of taxa around the Mediterranean and Middle East. In Australia, 24 genera, most being naturalised weeds of agriculture, horticulture and waste and disturbed places, a few of them also invasive of natural communities. Several other species (not treated here) may occur, usually as ephemeral garden-escapes and rarely persisting.

Source: Adams, L.G. (1996). Caryophyllaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
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life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Caryophyllanae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
genus Agrostemma
genus Arenaria
genus Cerastium
genus Colobanthus
genus Corrigiola
genus Dianthus
genus Gypsophila
genus Herniaria
genus Minuartia
genus Moenchia
genus Paronychia
genus Petrorhagia
genus Polycarpon
genus Sagina
genus Saponaria
genus Scleranthus
genus Silene
genus Spergula
genus Spergularia
genus Stellaria