Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

JSP Page

Herbs, annual or perennial. Leaves sessile or subsessile, entire, small. Flowers usually in terminal, dichotomous cymes, 5-merous, rarely 4-merous. Sepals 5, free, scarious, membranous-margined. Petals as many as sepals, 2-fid or emarginate at apex, white, rarely absent. Stamens usually 10, rarely less, hypogynous; nectaries present. Ovary 1-locular; styles 3 - 5, filiform. Capsules cylindrical, exceeding sepals, opening by twice as many short teeth as styles; seeds many, spherical or reniform, rough, compressed, often tuberculate.

Almost cosmopolitan; ca 60 species, 7 species in India.


1a. Styles usually 3 2. Cerastium cerastoides
b. Styles usually 5 2
2a. capsule teeth curved or recurved, plain along margins 3
b. capsule teeth straight, recurved along margins 4
3a. Plants glabrous; capsules much longer than calyx 3. Cerastium dahuricum
b. Plants glandular-pubescent; capsules slightly longer than calyx 6. Cerastium indicum
4a. Leaves linear-oblong; cymes in umbel-like clusters 7. Cerastium thomsonii
b. Leaves not linear-oblong; cymes lax or compact 5
5a. Flowers 1 - 5; sepals 7 - 10 mm long 1. Cerastium alpinum
b. Flowers many; sepals less than 5 mm long 6
6a. Flowers in compact clusters; fruiting pedicels not exceeding sepals; sepals with long white hairs projecting beyond apex 5. Cerastium glomeratum
b. Flowers in dichasia, lax in fruit; fruiting pedicels exceeding sepals; sepals without such long hairs 4. Cerastium fontanum

JSP Page
  • Search