Cerastium arvense

           
Field Chickweed

Lower Stem

Wood Mountain Regional Park
06-June-2004

Note the backward pointing hairs.  Budd's Flora states "Stem covered with hairs pointing downward".  Flora of the Great Plains more accurate describes the hairs as retrorse below and more spreading above.

Note that the key to the genera in Budd's Flora requires that the capsule open with 10 valves.  Yet the key in Flora of Alberta requires the capsule be dehiscent by apical teeth, not by valves.

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Arvense:  Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora and Flora of Alberta leading to this species.  
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native species; NOT introduced

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widespread species; NOT just alpine

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perennials; NOT annuals, NOT winter annuals

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main stems erect or ascending; NOT spreading, NOT prostrate

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stems and leaves mostly firm; stems NOT weak, leaves NOT thin

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plants with persistent matted, decumbent, basal offshoots

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axillary shoots numerous, at the axils of most leaves; NOT few, NOT lacking

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plants glandular pubescent throughout; NOT densely white tomentose without glands

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leaves mostly linear or linear lanceolate; NOT mostly oblong, NOT oblanceolate

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petals fully twice as long as the sepals; NOT less than twice as long

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mature capsule 1-2 times the length of the sepals; NOT 2-3 times the length

 
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Cerastium: Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora and Flora of Alberta leading to this genus. 
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plants NOT with woody base

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plants WITHOUT stipules; NOT with small, ovate, papery stipules at junctions of stem and leaf and stem and branch

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sepals entirely separate; NOT united part way forming a tube

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petals usually present

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petals WITHOUT claws; NOT with claw-like base

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petals deeply notched or  2-cleft; NOT entire, NOT emarginate

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styles usually 5; NOT 3

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ovary NOT stipitate

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capsule long, cylindrical, often curved; NOT short, NOT ovoid, NOT ellipsoid, NOT oblong

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capsule opening with twice as many valves or teeth as there are styles; NOT opening with as many entire (or later 2-cleft) valves as there are styles

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capsule usually opening with 10 valves; NOT with 6 valves (BF)

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capsule dehiscent by apical teeth; NOT by valves (FOA)

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fruit a several-many-seeded capsule; NOT a 1-seeded utricle

 
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Caryophyllaceae: Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora  leading to this family. 
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herbs

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plants terrestrial; NOT aquatic, leaves NOT submerged, leaves NOT floating, NOT mud plants with small axillary flowers

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plants NOT with coloured milky juice

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plants with more than one normal leaf

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leaves opposite, whorled, or basal; NOT alternate

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leaves NOT glandular-dotted

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plants WITHOUT large petal-like bracts; NOT with an involucre of 4 petal-like bracts

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flowers with two floral rings, and with each petal distinct from the others

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sepals more than 2

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stamens NOT united at base

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styles 2 or more; NOT single