Caryophyllaceae (Pink Family)

The Caryophyllaceae include all the cultivated carnations, pinks, Sweet William and Baby's-Breath we are so familiar with from the garden and flower shop. The family is large and wide-ranging, and many of its members have turned up as invasive alien problems in rural areas near towns.

It is also a family of attractive and hardy native wildflowers, including the Indian Pink, the Catchflies and Sand--spurreys. On Montara Mountain, Caryophyllaceae members include:

Cerastium arvense
(Field Chckweed)

Silene scouleri grandis
(Scouler's Large-flowered Campion)

Spergularia macrotheca
(Large-flowered Sand-spurrey)

Spergularia ruba
(Ruby Sand-spurrey)



 Cerastium arvense:
Field Chickweed

Caryophyllaceae (Pink Family)

Flowers: White, 5 broad petals sharply notched, one-half inch across; fragrant. Sepals shorter than petals.

Blooms: March - May.

Leaves: Light green, 1 -2 inches long, in pairs along stems.

Fruit/Seeds: ??

Location: Grassy trails and rocky sections in all areas.

Status: Native - Common.

Cerastium arvense
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 Further description & Comment: 4 - 12 inches tall. No hairs or stickiness on stems and leaves, which along with the shorter sepals distinquish it from it's invasive alien relatives, Cerastium vulgatum (Large Mouse Ear) and Cerastium viscosum (Sticky Mouse Ear).



 Silene scouleri grandis
Scouler's Large-flowered Campion
(Scouler's Catchfly)

Caryophyllaceae (Pink Family)

Flowers: 5 petals, cleft in 4 lobes (two in center larger); white to pink/lavender, with triangular greenish sepals. Petals each have a pair of scale-like outgrowths on inner (upper) face.

Blooms: May - August.

Leaves: Mostly basal, grey, velvetly, spatula shaped.

Fruit/Seeds: ??

Location: Coastal bluffs, rock outcroppings.

Status: Native - Common.

Silene scouleri grandis

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Further description & Comment: 6 to 36 inches tall. Flowers opening in the afternoon.

Catchflys get their name from the sticky hairs on the plant that often trap flies and small insects.

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