Stellaria arenicola Raup
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Family: Caryophyllaceae
Genus: Stellaria
Species Synonyms: Stellaria longipes var. arenicola (Raup) Boivin
Common Names: sand chickweed
Canada: southeastern Alberta – southern Saskatchewan – southern Manitoba, Quebec – western New Brunswick
Saskatchewan: southern Saskatchewan; Brooking – Souris River Valley
Ecoregion: Mixed Grassland, Moist Mixed Grassland
Saskatchewan: sand dunes and sandy lake shores
Provincial Status According
to Harms (2003):
Nature Conservancy Status:
G2 N2 S2
Saskatchewan Species at
Risk Status:
Not At Risk
Sand chickweed is vulnerable in Saskatchewan because it is rare or uncommon. This species is restricted to one small area of the province, though it is usually numerous within localized areas. There are no known or anticipated threats to sand chickweed. This taxon is endemic to the Lake Athabasca region of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Height: 20 – 40 cm
Roots: rootstocks extensive, branched
Stems: perennial, tufted, weak, ascending to erect, 1 – 3 mm wide, hairless, shiny
Leaves: opposite, sessile, 0.5 – 3 cm long, 2 – 4 mm wide, lance-shaped, boat-shaped in cross section, hairless
Inflorescence: loose, few-flowered, branched, spreading; bracts paired below each flower papery, whitish
Flowers: sepals distinct to base, hairless; petals longer than sepals, notched, whitish
Fruits: capsule straw-coloured, valves reflexed and outwardly rolled at maturity
1 Leaves broadly elliptic to oval; middle and lower leaves stalked; stems with hairs in vertical rows
S. media ssp. media
1 Leaves linear to lance-shaped; cauline leaves all sessile, basal leaves may be short-stalked; stems hairless or hairy, but hairs not in vertical rows
2 Inflorescence bracts green, not papery or membranous; flowers solitary or in branched clusters
2 Inflorescence bracts papery and whitish, at least the uppermost; flowers in branched clusters
3 Petals shorter than sepals or absent; bracts and leaves or sepals with marginal hairs; seeds smooth
S. calycantha
3 Petals equalling or longer than sepals; bracts, leaves and sepals without marginal hairs; seeds netted or wrinkled
4 Leaves soft, fleshy; stems branched, often matted; petals cleft more than halfway; seeds wrinkled
S. crassifolia var. crassifolia
4 Leaves firm, boat-shaped in cross section; stems branched, short, ascending; petals cleft less than halfway; seeds netted
S. longipes
5 Inflorescence narrow; stalks erect to ascending or reflexed; leaves strongly ascending; capsule purplish-black
S. longipes
5 Inflorescence widely spreading; stalks ascending to reflexed; leaves spreading to ascending; capsule green or straw-coloured
6 Leaves linear, acute at both ends; flowers few
S. longifolia
6 Leaves lanceolate, broadest below the middle; flowers few to many
7 Sepal margins with hairs; capsule teeth not reflexed at maturity
S. graminea var. graminea
7 Sepal margins without hairs; capsule teeth rolled back at maturity
S. arenicola