Stellaria nitens Nutt.
Family: Caryophyllaceae
shiny chickweed,  more...
[Stellaria praecox A. Nels.]
Stellaria nitens image
Max Licher  
Plants annual, from threadlike taproots. Stems erect, sparingly branched below inflorescence, 4-sided, 3-25 cm, glabrous or sparsely hairy. Leaves sessile, crowded at base, shiny; blade oblanceolate to obovate and spatulate (proximal) or linear-lanceolate (distal), 0.5-1.5 cm × 0.5-2 mm, base round, apex acuminate, glabrous, often ciliate on margins. Inflorescences terminal, 3-21-flowered (rarely more) cymes; bracts linear-lanceolate, 1-12 mm, scarious distally, herbaceous proximally, often ciliate on margins. Pedicels ascending to erect, ± straight in fruit, 2-25 mm, glabrous. Flowers 2-3 mm diam.; sepals 5, with 3 prominent, ridged veins, very narrowly lanceolate, to acicular, 2.8-4.2 mm, margins wide, scarious, apex acuminate, glabrous; petals 5 or absent, 1-3 mm, shorter than sepals, blade apex 2-lobed; stamens 3-5; styles 3, spreading, becoming curled, ca. 0.3 mm. Capsules green or straw colored, narrowly ovoid, 2-3 mm, shorter than sepals, apex obtuse, opening by 3 valves, splitting into 6; carpophore absent. Seeds brown, round, 0.5-0.7 mm diam., minutely tuberculate. 2n = 20, 40. Flowering spring. Dry, open habitats: sand dunes, stream banks, rocky outcrops, open woodlands, beneath boulders, disturbed areas; 0-2000 m; B.C.; Ariz., Calif., Idaho, Mont., Nev., Oreg., Utah, Wash.
FNA 2005, Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Annual with filiform, glabrous or sparsely hairy, erect and forking stems 3-25 cm tall, from threadlike taproots. Leaves: Sessile, crowded at base, shiny, blades oblanceolate to obovate at bottom and spatulate or linear-lanceolate toward top, 0.5-1.5 cm by 0.5-2 mm, round base, acuminate apex, glabrous, often ciliate on margins. Flowers: Terminal cymes 3-21 flowered, bracts linear-lanceolate, 1-12 mm, scarious near top, herbaceous further down, often ciliate on margins; pedicels ascending to erect, straight in fruit, 2-25 mm, glabrous; flowers 2-3 mm in diameter, 5 sepals with 3 prominent, ridged veins, narrowly lanceolate 2.8-4.2 mm, margins wide, scarious, acuminate apex, glabrous; petals 5 or absent, 1-3 mm, shorter than sepals, blade apex 2-lobed; 3-5 stamens; 3 styles, becoming curled. Fruits: Narrowly ovoid capsules, green or straw colored, 2-3 mm, shorter than sepals, obtuse apex. Ecology: Found in dry, open areas, sand dunes, stream banks, rocky slopes and outcrops, beneath boulders, and in disturbed areas from 1,500-4,000 ft (457-1219 m); flowers February-April. Notes: This species can be distinguished by being glabrous or sparsely pubescent below, but not in lines; the shiny leaves also help to separate this plant. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Stellaria is from the Latin stella for star for the flower shape, while nitens means shining. Synonyms: Stellaria praecox Editor: SBuckley, 2010
Stellaria nitens image
Max Licher  
Stellaria nitens image
Max Licher  
Stellaria nitens image
Max Licher  
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Steve Jones  
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Steve Jones  
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image
Stellaria nitens image