Scientific Name:
  • = Illecebraceae

Annual to perennial herbs, rarely small shrubs. Hairs simple, glandular or eglandular. Lvs opposite, rarely alternate or whorled, stipulate or exstipulate, simple, entire. Infl. usually terminal, typically a bracteate dichasium, sometimes a panicle or reduced to a monochasium or fls solitary. Fls hypogynous, very rarely perigynous, usually ☿, actinomorphic. Sepals (4)–5, free or united; commissures when present green or scarious, veined or not veined. Petals (4)–5 or 0, free, clawed or not clawed, either entire, toothed, emarginate or 2-fid. Stamens 0–10, usually twice as many as sepals. Ovary of 2–5 fused carpels, 1-celled at least above; placentation free-central or basal. Stigmas (1)–2–5, free. Fr. a capsule, usually many-seeded and dehiscing by as many or twice as many teeth as the styles, rarely indehiscent, rarely 1-seeded or a berry. Seeds variously shaped, usually sculptured, often papillate; embryo curved around perisperm, rarely straight.

[From: Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]

Number of species in New Zealand within Caryophyllaceae
Indigenous (Endemic)14
Indigenous (Non-endemic)9
Exotic: Fully Naturalised50
Exotic: Casual11
Cronquist, A. 1988: The evolution and classification of flowering plants. The New York Botanic Gardens, New York.
Mabberley, D.J. 2008: Mabberley's plant book, a portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses. Edition 3. Cambridge University Press.