SAGINA APETALA

Family:- CARYOPHYLLACEAE

Common Names:- Annual pearlwort

Synonyms:- Alsine apetala, Sagina inconspicua, Sagina procumbens var.
apetala, Sagina quaternella

Meaning:- Sagina (L) Fodder
                  Apetala (Gr) Without petals
                
General description:- Small, annual, usually branched from the base.

Stems:-
1) 2-6 cm, suberect, slender.

Leaves:-
1) Cauline, linear-subulate, somewhat fleshy, long-mucronate to aristate, usually
    more or less ciliate towards the base.

Flowers:-
1) Solitary, 4(-5)-merous on long, filiform, glandular-pubescent to subglabrous 
    pedicels.
2) Sepals, 2-2.5 mm, nanowly ovate, acute to mucronate.
3) Petals minute, often falling early, rarely absent.

Fruit:-
1) Capsule ovoid, equalling or slightly exceeding the sepals.
2) Seeds c. 0.3 mm, pyriform, minutely tuberculate.

Key features:-
1) Delicate, erect annuals
2) Cauline leaves long-mucronate to anistate.
3) Pedicels, usually glandular-pubescent.
4) Sepals acute to mucronate.

Habitat:- Bare, open ground, usually on sandy soil. 0-1100 m. occasionally to 1400
m. in dolines.

Distribution:- Widespread throughout the Mediterranean region C & W Europe and
SW Asia. Widespread on Crete.

Flowering time:- Mar-May, sometimes later.

Photos by:- Fotis Samaritakis and Dimokratia Vrentzou
SPECIES DESCRIPTION
 
GLOSSARY OF TERMS USED

Aristate:- With a bristle-like pointed axis.

Capsule:- Dry fruit that opens when ripe. splitting from the apex to the base into
separate segments known as valves.
Cauline:- Borne on the stem, of the stem.
Cilia:- Marginal hairs.
Ciliate:- Fringed with hairs - generally along the margin of a leaf, petal etc.

Filiform:- Thread-like; slender and parallel-sided.

Glandular pubescent:- Hairs tipped with small glands that secrete oil or some
other liquid.

Linear - subulate:- Narrow, parallel-sided to awl-shaped.

Merous:- Having a specified number of parts: e.g. "pentamerous" = 5-merous
Mucro:- A sharp terminal point.
Mucronate:- Of or having a mucro; ending abruptly in a sharp point.

Ovoid:- Egg-shaped

Pedicel:- The stalk of an individual flower.
Pyriform:- Shaped like a pear, Pear-shaped.

Sepal:- A member of the outer perianth whorl in most flowers. The sepals
collectively make up the calyx.
Subglabrous:- Almost without hairs.

Tuberculate:- With small, wart-like projections.
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