Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Arenaria capillaris Poir.

English: Thin leaf sandwort.

Caryophyllaceae, Pink family.

Published in Poir. in Lam., Encycl. 6: 380. 1804.

Type: Described from Siberia.

Synonymy. Eremogone capillaris (Poir.) Fenzl, Verbreit. Alsin. 37. 1833.

Arenaria nardifolia auct., non Ledeb. ex Hooker. 1830.

Arenaria capillaris Poir. var. nardifolia (Ledeb. ex Hooker) Piper and Beattie, Fl. N.W. Coast 149. 1915.

Vegetative morphology. Plants 4–15 cm high; perennial herbs; caespitose. Taproot present. Ground level or underground stems horizontal; rhizomatous; elongate, or compact; 1–3(–7) mm wide. Caudex present. Aerial stems erect. Leaves mainly basal; opposite; marcescent. Petioles absent. Leaf blade bases attenuate. Blades 20–50 mm long, 0.5–0.8 mm wide, appressed to the stem or spreading, linear, flat or folded, appearing single-veined. Blade adaxial surface dull, glabrous. Blade abaxial surface glabrous. Blade margins scabrous; apices acuminate.

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems with leaves. Flowers in inflorescences. Inflorescences with flowers in a dichasium. Flowers per inflorescence (1–)2–6; medium-sized. Sepals conventional; 5; free; 1.8–2.5 mm long; 4–6 mm wide; green; herbaceous. Calyx glabrous. Petals conventional; free; longer than the calyx; 5; white; obovate; unlobed; 5–8 mm long. Stamens 10; stamen filaments glabrous. Anthers yellow; ovoid; 0.6–0.8 mm long. Ovary superior; carpels 3; syncarpous. Ovaries ovate; glabrous. Styles 3; free; 2–2.5 mm long. Stigmas per ovary 1. Placentation free central. Ovules per ovary 25–35. Fruit with calyx persisting; dry; a capsule; elongate-cylindrical; yellowish; 5–7 mm long; 2.5–3.5 mm wide; surface appearing veinless; dehiscent; opening with teeth at the top of the capsule; teeth 6. Seeds numerous; 0.8–1 mm long; brown; surfaces verrucose.

Chromosome information. 2n = 22.

2n (2x) = 22. Zhukova (1966, Wrangel Island); Packer, in Löve (1968, northwestern Canada); Zhukova and Petrovsky (1980, western Chukotka; 1987, northeastern Asia); Krasnikov (1990).

Ploidy levels recorded 2x.

Ecology and habitat. Substrates: lakeshores (prefers calcareous, warm, south-facing slopes, dunes), ridges; dry, moderately well-drained areas; gravel, sand; with low organic content; calcareous.

North American distribution. Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories Islands, continental Northwest Territories. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago limited. Rare. Low Arctic. Arctic islands: Victoria (literature record).

Northern hemisphere distribution. Amphi-Beringian. West Chukotka, Wrangel Island, South Chukotka, East Chukotka, West Alaska, North Alaska – Yukon, Central Canada.

Illustrations. • Close-up of plant. Plant densely tufted from a stout, somewhat woody base. CMN Photo library 577–769. • Much branched caudex. Base of plant exposed to show a much branched caudex and thin opposite leaves. N.W.T., Tuktoyaktuk. CAN 534271. • Well-developed caudex. Note grass-like fine leaves, from a well-developed old woody caudex. N.W.T., Mackenzie Delta, Richards Island. CAN 53612. • Arctic Island Distribution.


This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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