Cerastium terrae-novae

Fernald & Wiegand

Rhodora 22: 176. 1921.

Common names: Newfoundland mouse-ear chickweed
Synonyms: Cerastium beeringianum subsp. terrae-novae (Fernald & Wiegand) Hultén
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 5. Treatment on page 90. Mentioned on page 76, 77.

Plants perennial, tufted, rhizomatous. Stems loosely ascending to suberect, branched, very leafy, 10–15 cm, pubescence short, dense, glandular; small axillary tufts of leaves usually absent. Leaves tending to be marcescent, sessile but spatulate proximally; blade elliptic-oblong, 5–14 × 1.5–3.5 mm, apex obtuse, densely glandular-hirsute. Inflorescences lax, 1–3-flowered cymes; bracts ovate-lanceolate, margins very narrow, scarious, glandular-pubescent. Pedicels mostly erect, slender, 10–25 mm, 1–4 times as long as sepals, densely glandular-pubescent. Flowers: sepals ovate-oblong, 5.5–6.5 mm, elongating to 6–7 mm in fruit, margins broad, apex obtuse, glandular-pubescent; petals narrowly oblanceolate, 7–10 mm, 1.5–2 times as long as sepals, apex 2-fid; stamens 10; styles 5. Capsules ovate-cylindric, ca. straight, short, broad, 9–13 mm, ca. 2 times as long as sepals; teeth 10, erect or partially spreading, margins convolute. Seeds brown, 1.3–1.7 mm diam., with prominent papillae around margins and rows of small, transverse ridges on sides; testa inflated, loose (rubs off when rolled between finger and thumb). 2n = 108.

Phenology: Flowering summer.
Habitat: Serpentine gravel, sands, rocky tablelands
Elevation: 20-700 m


Cerastium terrae-novae is the only member of the European C. nigrescens group of species to occur in North America. The group is distinguished by large seeds with loose testae. Cerastium terrae-novae is distinguished by its narrowly elliptic leaves, usually purple-suffused stems and sepals, broad, straight capsule, short pubescence, and poorly developed inflorescence that often is reduced to a single flower.

Selected References


Lower Taxa