Moosomin Regional Park
Note the hairs along the midrib.
This species has been classified as Arenaria
lateriflora. However, many taxonomists place it in a separate genus (Moehringia),
partly because its seeds contain a fleshy appendage known as a strophiole.
Ants collect collect the seeds, eat the strophiole, and leave the remainder to
germinate. Budd's Flora treats this species as a member of Arenaria.
Flora of Alberta treats it as a member of Moehringia.
Therefore I have included two sets of answers from the keys to the genera: a set
leading to Arenaria from Budd's Flora, and a second set leading to
Moehringia from Flora of Alberta. There is only one member
of Moehringia described in Flora of Alberta, so the key questions
leading to the species are all from Budd's Flora.
Lateriflora: Answers to key
questions in Budd's Flora leading to this species.
leaves oval to oblong; NOT [linear or
leaves pubescent below along the
midrib; NOT [leaves glabrous below]
bracts of the inflorescence small,
scarious; NOT [large, leaf-like]
sepals rounded; NOT acuminate
Arenaria: Answers to key questions in Budd's
Flora leading to this genus.
plants NOT with woody base
plants WITHOUT stipules; NOT [plants
with small, ovate, papery stipules at junction of stem and leaf, and
stem and branch]
flowers with 5 sepals, 3 styles, and 3
valves; NOT [flowers 5-numerous]
sepals entirely separate; NOT [sepals
united part way, forming a tube]
petals entire or merely notched at
apex; NOT petals deeply 2-cleft
fruit many-seeded; NOT [fruit with a
capsule opening with as many entire (or
later 2-cleft) valves as there are styles; NOT [capsule opening with
twice as many valves or teeth as there are styles]
Moehringia: Answers to key questions in
Flora of Alberta leading to this genus.
leaves WITHOUT stipules; NOT [leaves
with scarious stipules]
leaves elliptic to oblong-lanceolate,
1-4 cm long, generally more than 3 mm wide; NOT [leaves narrowly
linear-lanceolate or subulate, if ovate to elliptic less than 1 cm long,
less than 3 mm wide]
calyx of separate sepals; NOT of united
petals LACKING claws
petals entire or emarginate; NOT
[petals deeply notched or 2-cleft]
styles 3; NOT [4 or 5]
ovary NOT stipitate
fruit several-seeded; NOT 1-seeded
fruit dehiscent; NOT indehiscent
seeds with a fleshy appendage
Caryophyllaceae: Answers to key questions
in Budd's Flora leading to this family.
herbs; NOT [shrubs or trees]
plants terrestrial; NOT [plants
aquatic, leaves submerged or floating], NOT [mud plants with small
plants NOT with colored milky juice
plants with more than one normal leaf
leaves opposite, whorled, or basal; NOT
[some or all leaves alternate]
leaves NOT glandular-dotted
plants WITHOUT large petal-like bracts;
NOT [plants with an involucre of 4 petal-like bracts]
flowers with two floral rings, and with
each petal distinct from the others
sepals more than 2
stamens NOT united at base
styles 2 or more