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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

14. Caryophyllaceae, the Pink Family

1. Cerastium L.--Mouse-ear chickweed

1. Cerastium brachypodum (Engelm. ex A. Gray) Robins.


Short glandular-pubescent plant 0.5-3.5 dm tall; stems simple or branched from the base. Leaves 5-30 mm long, 1.5-5 mm wide. Flowers in rather compact cymes; sepals 2.5-4 mm long; petals, if present, shorter than to exceeding the sepals, often absent. Capsules 6-10 mm long; pedicels 0.5-1.25X the length of the calyx in flower, to 3X the calyx length and straight or only slightly curved in age. Seeds reddish-brown, angular-obovoid, papillate, 0.4-0.5 mm long. Late May--Jul. Wet alkali flats and drier places, often where sandy; occasional; (N.S. to Mack., s to GA, TX, AZ and OR).

C. brachypodum is sometimes treated as a variety of the following species. Although their largely sympatric ranges may lend credence to that interpretation, the two do seem quite distinct on the basis of habitat selection and morphology in the northern Great Plains and are thus viewed here as separate species.

GIF-Cerastium brachypodum
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

Cerastium brachypodum. Note the powderhorn-shaped denticidal capsules protruding from the calyces of older flowers.  

Return to Family -- Caryophyllaceae - The Pink Family
Next Species -- Cerastium nutans Raf.

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