Distribution: Found throughout the World - cosmopolitan - but centered in north-temperate areas. The Texas flora with 19 genera and 59 species.
All taxa of the Caryophyllaceae show a distinctive 'subset' vegetative
feature; opposite leaves.
addition, the nodes are often swollen or expanded and
bases are often collected across the node by a transverse,
line. Apetaly and imperfect flowers are rare and most taxa
a full (both calyx and corolla present and distnct) pentamerous
(5-parted) perianth with no connation. The petals can be bifid
deep lobes) or often with a regular, lacerate (cut) margin (appear to
cut with pinking shears or 'pinked'. The uniloculate
ovary, marked by free central placentation,
to form a denticidal
by terminal valves - photo)
|Cerastrium glomeratum - 'mouse-ear chickweed' showing bifid petals and denticidal capsule||Dianthus sylvestris - 'pinked' petals of a 'wild' carnation (sylvestris = wild, not domesticated)||Cerastium arvense - bifid petals, 10 stamens, hypogynous with 5 styles emerging from the top of the superior ov|
More information on the Caryophyllaceae
Type Genus? from Dr.
Reveal: "In 1753,
Linnaeus decided to apply the name Caryophyllus to a group of tropical plants of the
family Myrtaceae, and establish Dianthus
for a temperate herb long known to
pre-1753 botanists as Caryophyllus.
In spite of this, post-1753 authors continued to use Caryophyllaceae as
the family name for the group of plants that contained the genus Dianthus but exclude the genus Caryophyllus. For the family name to be used (within
the rules of nomenclature),
Caryophyllaceae has been conserved."
(genera of Myrtaceae)