Cerastium nutans Raf. ssp. nutans

Nodding Chickweed, Powderhorn

Cerastium nutans plant

Family - Caryophyllaceae

Stem - To 60 cm, ascending to erect, densely pubescent with short glandular hairs.

Cerastium_nutans_stemStem.

Leaves - Opposite, mostly sessile, entire, oblong-lanceolate, pubescent with glandular and eglandular hairs.

Cerastium_nutans_leafLeaf.

Inflorescence - Open panicles. Bracts entirely green and herbaceous. Flower stalks 2-5 times as long as sepals, hooked at tips.

Cerastium_nutans_inflorescenceInflorescence.

Flowers - Sepals 5, margins hyaline. Petals 5, white, > sepals, 5-7 mm, distally notched. Stamens 10. Styles 5.

Cerastium_nutans_calyxCalyx.

Cerastium_nutans_flowersFlowers.

Fruit - Curved capsules 8-13 mm, brown at maturity, dehiscing via 10 apical teeth.

Cerastium_nutans_fruitFruit.

Flowering - March - June.

Habitat - Streambanks, bluffs, forests, fields, open disturbed areas.

Origin - Native to the U.S.

Other info. - The small-flowered Cerastiums are often considered weedy and can be a bit difficult to identify, but this one is distinctive with maturing flowers and fruits borne on long, hooked stalks. I find it rather attractive.

Photographs taken at Columbia Bottoms Conservation Area, St. Charles County, MO, 4-24-2016 (SRTurner).



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