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
Stellaria arenicola 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 Stellaria arenicola. 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, glabrous, shiny
Leaves: opposite, sessile, 0.5 – 3 cm long, 2 – 4 mm wide, lanceolate, keeled, glabrous
Inflorescence: cyme loose, few-flowered, spreading; bracts paired, subtending each flower, scarious, whitish
Flowers: calyx distinct nearly to base, not ciliate, glabrous; corolla longer than calyx, notched, whitish
Fruits: capsule stramineus, valves reflexed and outwardly rolled at maturity
1 Leaves broadly elliptic to ovate; middle and lower leaves petiolate; stems with pubescence in vertical rows
S. media ssp. media
1 Leaves linear to lanceolate; cauline leaves all sessile, basal leaves may be short-petioled; stems glabrous or pubescent, but pubescence not in vertical rows
2 Inflorescence bracts green, not scarious or membranous; flowers solitary or in cymes
2 Inflorescence bracts scarious and whitish, at least the uppermost; flowers in cymes
3 Petals shorter than sepals or absent; bracts and leaves or calyx ciliolate; seeds smooth
S. calycantha
3 Petals equalling or longer than sepals; bracts, leaves and calyx eciliate; seeds reticulate or rugose
4 Leaves soft, fleshy; plant branching, often matted; corolla cleft more than halfway; seeds rugose
S. crassifolia var. crassifolia
4 Leaves firm, keeled; stems branching, short, ascending; corolla cleft less than halfway; seeds reticulate
S. longipes
5 Inflorescence narrow; pedicels erect to ascending or reflexed; leaves strongly ascending; capsule purplish-black
S. longipes
5 Inflorescence widely spreading; pedicels 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 Calyx margins ciliolate; capsule teeth not reflexed at maturity
S. graminea var. graminea
7 Calyx margins not ciliolate; capsule teeth rolled back at maturity
S. arenicola