Family: Caryophyllaceae
Common name: carnation/pink family [Zomlefer, pp. 54-56]
Diversity: Worldwide: 80 genera; ~2,000 species
U.S.: 20 genera
PNW (Hitchcock & Cronquist): 19 genera
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K4-5 Co4-5 or 0 S5 or 5+5 P (2-5)
Sexuality: usu. bisexual,
rarely unisexual/dioecious
Symmetry: actinomorphic
Inflorescence: usu. cyme, some solitary
Calyx (sepals): 4 to 5, separate or sometimes connate (=united), often imbricate (=overlapping) with membranous margin
Corolla (petals): 4 to 5, separate, often with distinct claw and limb, petal apex often notched giving bilobed or fringed margin
Androecium: 5 or 10 in two whorls
Gynoecium: 2 to 5 carpels, united, superior ovary (=hypogynous), styles free and equal to carpel number, ovules have free central placentation
Fruit: capsule with teeth at apex, achene
Other features: flowers with nectar, usually white or pink

Vegetative Features
swollen stem nodes
Leaves: opposite, simple, entire, often narrow and lanceolate usu. exstipulate
Life-history: annual to perennial
Habit: herbs, some shrubby with woody stocks
Distribution & Ecology: mainly cooler, temperate regions of N. Hemisphere,
diversity centered in the Mediterranean
Some Northwest Genera: Arenaria sandwort
Silene campion or catch fly
Stellaria starwort/chickweed
Dianthus pinks
Lychnis campion
Saponaria soapwort

Economic Importance
Ornamentals: Dianthus carnation
Gypsophila baby's breath
Weedy and pest species: Cerastium chickweed
Stellaria chickweed/starwort

Caryophyllaceae Cerastium
Caryophyllaceae Saponaria
Caryophyllaceae Silene
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