Please try our next iteration of the Michigan Flora Online here. Beginning on February 1, 2023, will point to this new site.

The new site offers several benefits over the existing website, including real coordinate mapping, giving a clearer view of the density of documentation as well as more precision about plant distributions and their link to landforms. We will also have the ability to update species pages more regularly, both in terms of new collections and as more existing Michigan specimens are georeferenced. In addition, we have a better photo display, and offer indented keys.


1. Stipules present, conspicuous (though small), scarious, sometimes fused and forming a membranous collar between the leaf bases.

2. Petals absent; fruit 1-seeded, indehiscent; styles 2-forked or none and stigmas 2; leaves elliptic to narrowly obovate.

3. Plant a prostrate, matted weed, with flowers crowded in axillary clusters; leaves not red-dotted; stipules ciliate; sepals ca. 0.5–0.6 mm long.


3. Plant ± erect, with flowers on very slender terminal branches; leaves densely red-dotted, at least beneath; stipules not ciliate; sepals ca. 0.7–1 mm long.


2. Petals present (but shorter than the sepals); fruit a several-seeded capsule; styles and stigmas 3 or 5; leaves linear-filiform.

4. Styles and valves of capsule normally 5; petals white; leaves in 2 principal clusters at each node, appearing densely whorled.


4. Styles and valves of capsule normally 3; petals usually pink; leaves more clearly opposite (with partly connate stipules), but usually with axillary clusters.


1. Stipules absent (though leaf bases may meet around the stem).

5. Sepals (ca. 2–5 mm long) connate nearly or fully half their length to form a hard closely perigynous cup around the ovary and membranous fruit; fruit 1-seeded, indehiscent.


5. Sepals connate much more than half their length, or separate nearly or quite to their base, or over 2.5 cm long; fruit a few to many-seeded capsule.

6. Calyx of sepals separate nearly or quite to their base.

7. Petals clearly notched at the apex or deeply cleft (the corolla then appearing 10-parted), or rarely absent.

8. Styles 3–4 (very rarely to 6); capsules ± ovoid, 6 (–8)-cleft to the base.


8. Styles 5; capsules 10-cleft or 10-toothed, ovoid to cylindric.

9. Leaves various, but less than 1 cm broad; capsule cylindric.


9. Leaves ovate, the principal ones at least (1.5–) 2 cm broad; capsule ovoid.


7. Petals entire or toothed, but neither cleft nor merely notched at the tip.

10. Inflorescence umbellate; styles 3; capsules 6-cleft; plant withering in May or soon afterwards.


10. Inflorescence cymose, not umbellate, or flowers solitary; styles and capsules various; plant persisting beyond May.

11. Styles (as well as sepals and petals) (4–) 5, the capsules splitting by an equal number of teeth.


11. Styles 3 (fewer than sepals and petals), the capsules splitting by 3 or 6 teeth.

12. Leaves linear-subulate, the principal cauline ones subtending dense axillary clusters; plant entirely glabrous; capsule dehiscing into 3 valves.


12. Leaves ovate to elliptic or lanceolate, mostly without axillary tufts; plants puberulent at least on the stem; capsule with the 3 valves again split, resulting in a total of 6 teeth.

13. Ripe seeds minutely and regularly roughened (tuberculate) and unappendaged; leaves ovate-elliptic, acute to acuminate, but not over 7 (–9) mm long; petals shorter than sepals; annuals.


13. Ripe seeds smooth and shiny, with a pale appendage at the point of attachment; leaves lanceolate to broadly or narrowly elliptic, mostly over 10 mm long; petals exceeding sepals; perennials.


6. Calyx of sepals fused at least a fourth of their length.

14. Sepals fused ca. one-fourth to half their length (hence with prominent free tips), ± densely pilose, (1.6–) 3.5–5.5 (–7) cm long.


14. Sepals fused half their length or more, glabrous or pubescent, less than 3 cm long.

15. Calyx immediately subtended by closely appressed bracts (no naked pedicel evident between bracts and calyx).

16. Sepals each with (3–) 5–7 usually strong ribs, connate without membranous margins.


16. Sepals each with 1 (–3) main rib(s), connate by membranous ribless margins.


15. Calyx not subtended by bracts, or with at least a short pedicel visible above spreading bracts.

17. Styles 3–5 (or more), or flowers entirely staminate; calyx 10–30-nerved (or nerves obscure).

18. Calyx tubular or broadened below the middle; stems lacking glutinous zones on upper internodes, except in S. antirrhina with petals inconspicuous or lacking.


18. Calyx ± clavate, expanded above the middle; stems with glutinous zones on upper internodes and petals pink and showy (fresh flowers ca. 1 cm or more across).


17. Styles 2, the capsule opening by 4 teeth; flowers bisexual; calyx 5-nerved or very obscurely many-nerved.

19. Calyx less than 5 mm long.


19. Calyx at least 7 mm long.

20. Inflorescence crowded, the pedicels less than 5 mm long; calyx wingless.


20. Inflorescence open, the pedicels over 1 cm long; calyx with 5 green wings.


All species found in Caryophyllaceae

Agrostemma githagoCORN-COCKLE 
Arenaria serpyllifoliaTHYME-LEAVED SANDWORT 
Cerastium arvenseFIELD CHICKWEED 
Cerastium brachypodumSHORTSTALK CHICKWEED 
Cerastium fontanumMOUSE-EAR CHICKWEED 
Cerastium glomeratumCHICKWEED 
Cerastium nutansNODDING CHICKWEED 
Cerastium pumilumMOUSE-EAR CHICKWEED 
Cerastium semidecandrumSMALL MOUSE-EAR CHICKWEED 
Cerastium tomentosumSNOW-IN-SUMMER 
Cerastium velutinumFIELD CHICKWEED 
Dianthus armeriaDEPTFORD PINK 
Dianthus barbatusSWEET WILLIAM 
Dianthus carthusianorumCLUSTER-HEAD PINK 
Dianthus deltoidesMAIDEN PINK 
Dianthus plumariusGARDEN PINK, GRASS PINK 
Dianthus sylvestrisPINK 
Gypsophila elegansBABY'S BREATH 
Gypsophila muralisBABY'S BREATH 
Gypsophila paniculataBABY'S BREATH 
Gypsophila scorzonerifoliaBABY'S BREATH 
Herniaria glabraHERNIARY 
Holosteum umbellatumJAGGED CHICKWEED 
Minuartia dawsonensisROCK SANDWORT 
Minuartia michauxiiROCK SANDWORT 
Moehringia laterifloraWOOD SANDWORT 
Moehringia macrophyllaBIG-LEAF SANDWORT 
Myosoton aquaticumGIANT CHICKWEED 
Paronychia canadensisTALL FORKED CHICKWEED 
Paronychia fastigiataLOW FORKED CHICKWEED 
Petrorhagia proliferaCHILDING PINK 
Petrorhagia saxifragaPINK 
Sagina nodosaPEARLWORT 
Sagina procumbensPEARLWORT 
Saponaria ocymoidesSAPONARIA 
Saponaria officinalisBOUNCING BET, SOAPWORT 
Scleranthus annuusKNAWEL 
Scleranthus perennisKNAWEL 
Silene antirrhinaSLEEPY CATCHFLY 
Silene conicaSILENE 
Silene coronariaMULLEIN PINK 
Silene dichotomaFORKED CATCHFLY 
Silene dioicaRED CAMPION 
Silene niveaSNOWY CAMPION 
Silene stellataSTARRY CAMPION 
Silene virginicaFIRE PINK 
Silene vulgarisBLADDER CAMPION 
Spergula arvensisSPURREY 
Spergularia marinaSALT SPURREY 
Spergularia mediaSALT SPURREY 
Spergularia rubraSAND SPURREY 
Stellaria borealisNORTHERN STITCHWORT 
Stellaria crassifoliaFLESHY STITCHWORT 
Stellaria gramineaSTARWORT 
Stellaria longifoliaLONG-LEAVED CHICKWEED 
Stellaria longipesSTARWORT 
Stellaria mediaCOMMON CHICKWEED 
Stellaria pallidaLEAST CHICKWEED 
Vaccaria hispanicaCOW HERB 


MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. February 1, 2023.