Common Names in English:
, rarely subshrubs
. Stems and branches usually swollen at nodes. Leaves opposite, decussate, rarely alternate or verticillate
, entire, usually connate
; stipules scarious
, or often absent. Inflorescence of cymes or cymose
panicles, rarely flowers solitary or few in racemes
, capitula, pseudoverticillasters, or umbels. Flowers actinomorphic
, rarely unisexual
, occasionally cleistogamous
. Sepals (4 or) 5, free
, imbricate, or connate into a tube
, leaflike or scarious, persistent
, sometimes bracteate
below calyx. Petals (4 or) 5, rarely absent, free, often comprising claw
and limb; limb entire or split, usually with coronal scales
at juncture of claw and limb. Stamens (2--) 5--10, in 1 or 2 series. Pistil 1; carpels 2--5, united
into a compound
ovary. Ovary superior, 1-loculed or basally imperfectly 2--5-loculed. Gynophore
present or absent. Placentation free, central, rarely basal; ovules (1 or) few or numerous
, campylotropous. Styles (1 or) 2--5, sometimes united at base. Fruit usually a capsule, with pericarp crustaceous
, scarious, or papery
, dehiscing by teeth or valves
1 or 2 Ã— as many as styles, rarely berrylike with irregular dehiscence or an achene. Seeds 1 to numerous, reniform
, or rarely dorsiventrally compressed
, abaxially grooved
, or sharply pointed
, rarely fimbriate-pectinate; testa granular
, rarely smooth
; embryo strongly curved
and surrounding perisperm
or straight but eccentric
; perisperm mealy.
Between 75 and 80 genera and ca. 2000 species: widespread but mainly of temperate or warm-temperate occurrence in the N hemisphere, with principal centers of distribution in the Mediterranean region and W Asia to W China and the Himalayas, fewer species in Africa S of the Sahara, America, and Oceania; 30 genera (two endemic) and 390 species (193 endemic) in China.
Arenaria, Silene, and Stellaria contain over half the species in the family in China. They are mostly concentrated in the Qinghai-Xizang plateau , and are especially rich from the Hengduan Mountains to the Himalayas. The main uses of this family are medicinal and ornamental . Dianthus superbus, Pseudostellaria heterophylla, Stellaria dichotoma var. lanceolata, and Vaccaria hispanica are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine . Some species of Arenaria, Dianthus, Gypsophila, Psammosilene, and Silene are used as medicinal herbs among the people or are habitually used in local Chinese medicine. Many species of Dianthus, Gypsophila, Lychnis, Saponaria, and Silene are grown as ornamentals. Atocion armeria (Linnaeus) Rafinesque ( Silene armeria Linnaeus), native to Russia and Europe, is also cultivated in China. It differs from Silene in having a corymbose inflorescence and obscure calyx veins. Wu Cheng-yih, Ke Ping, Zhou Li-hua, Tang Chang-lin & Lu De-quan. 1996. Caryophyllaceae. In: Tang Chang-lin, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 26: 47â€“449.
. Taproots slender to stout, sometimes absent; perennials often with stout, branched caudices, some with adventitious roots
stems or elongating rhizomes. Stems erect
, ± sprawling
, or less often decumbent or prostrate
, usually branched, terete
. Leaves briefly connate
proximally, sessile; blade
1- or 3-5-veined, linear
, apex rounded
to acuminate. Inflorescences dichasial cymes or thyrses
in G. oldhamiana) ; bracts paired
, distal ones smaller, herbaceous with scarious
bracteoles absent. Pedicels erect in fruit. Flowers: sepals connate proximally into cup
, 1-5 mm, cup green and white, 5-veined, not winged
, obconic to campanulate
, terete to 5-angled, commissures
between sepals veinless, broad, scarious; lobes
green at least along midrib
, usually ovate to elliptic
, equaling or longer
than cup, margins white, scarious, apex rounded to obtuse, sometimes mucronate
; petals 5, white, pink, or rose-purple, claw
poorly differentiated, auricles
absent, coronal appendages
absent; blade apex entire or shallowly emarginate
to 2-fid, nectaries at filament
; stamens 10, arising with petals from low nectariferous
disc; filaments distinct
nearly to base; staminodes absent; ovary 1-locular; styles 2(-3), clavate
, 1.2-2.5 mm, glabrous
proximally; stigmas 2(-3), subterminal
(30Ã—). Capsules globose
or ellipsoid-ovoid, opening by 4(-6) slightly distally recurving valves
; carpophore absent. Seeds 4-36, brown to black, reniform
to snail-shell-shaped, laterally compressed
absent, appendages absent; embryo peripheral, curved
. x = 17, 12 (Eurasia
), 18 (Eurasia) ; aneuploidy occasional.
Species ca. 150: introduced ; temperate Eurasia, Africa, Pacific Islands, Australia; introduced in South America.
Gypsophila species are widely grown as ornamentals . In addition to those treated below, other European and Asiatic species have appeared sporadically in disturbed habitats in the flora area, sometimes remote from any site where likely to have been planted, but have not become established . Gypsophila pilosa Hudson [G. porrigens (Linnaeus) Boissier], which differs from G. elegans in its stems villous or hispid proximal to the inflorescence, slender pedicels that persist after the flowers and fruits have fallen, and consistently pink petals, has been found at waste-disposal sites in Maryland, New York, and Oregon. Gypsophila repens Linnaeus, a rhizomatous perennial species with prostrate to decumbent primary stems and more or less erect flowering branches to 3 dm, similar to G. elegans in floral characters, has been found escaped from cultivation in British Columbia and Maine. Gypsophila oldhamiana F. A. W. Miquel was found in a field in Alabama in 1969 [Rebois 049 (AUA) ]. It has pink petals and differs from other species described here in its densely corymboid to subcapitate inflorescences. Additional species are cultivated in the flora area.
Biome: Disturbed areas, urban areas.
Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Full sun .
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Brongniart, 1843
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Perleb, 1826
- Family: Caryophyllaceae () - Durande, 1782 ex A.L. de Jussieu, 1789, nom. cons. - cariophyllacées, pinks
- Suborder: Caryophyllineae () -
- Order: Caryophyllales () - Perleb, 1826
- Superorder: Caryophyllanae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Subclass: Caryophyllidae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Class: Spermatopsida () - Brongniart, 1843
- Infraphylum: Radiatopses () - Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina ()
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
A tentatively accepted name in the RHS Horticultural Database.
Members of the genus Gypsophila
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 38 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:
G. acorzonerifolia (Babysbreath) · G. acutifolia (Sharp-Leaf Baby's-Breath) · G. aretioides (Gypsophila) · G. arrostii (Arrost's Babysbreath) · G. briquetiana (Babys Breath) · G. cerastioides (Baby's Breath) · G. cerastoides (Babys Breath) · G. elegans (Babys Breath) · G. elegans 'Carminea' (Babys Breath) · G. elegans 'Giant White' (Babys Breath) · G. elegans 'Snow Fountain' (Babys Breath) · G. fastigiata 'Silverstar' (Babys Breath) · G. muralis (Annual Gypsophila) · G. muralis 'Garden Bride' (Annual Gypsophila) · G. muralis 'Gypsy Deep Rose' (Annual Gypsophila) · G. oldhamiana (Oldham's Babysbreath) · G. paniculata (Baby's Breath) · G. paniculata Snowflake (Baby's Breath) · G. paniculata var. Paniculata (Baby's Breath) · G. paniculata 'Bristol Fairy' (Bristol Fairy Baby's Breath) · G. paniculata 'Compacta Plena' (Babys Breath) · G. paniculata 'Festival Star' (Babys Breath) · G. paniculata 'Pink Star' (Babys Breath) · G. paniculata 'Rumba' (Baby's Breath 'rumba') · G. paniculata 'Viette's Dwarf' (Babys Breath) · G. perfoliata (Perfoliate Baby's-Breath) · G. perfoliata var. latifolia (Perfoliate Babysbreath) · G. perfoliata var. perfoliata (Perfoliate Babysbreath) · G. petraea (Babys Breath) · G. pilosa (Applecactus) · G. repens (Creeping Babysbreath) · G. repens 'Alba' (Creeping Baby's Breath) · G. repens 'Rosea' (Creeping Baby's Breath) · G. scorzonerifolia (Baby's Breath) · G. stevenii (Steven's Babysbreath) · G. tenuifolia (Babys Breath) · G. violacea (Gypsophila) · G. 'Perfecta' (Babys Breath)
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- Barkoudah, Y. I. 1962. A revision of Gypsophila, Bolanthus, Ankyropetalum and Phryna. Wentia 9: 1-203.
- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed January 11, 2012.
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 5837715
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 16083123
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 743121
- Dequan Lu, Zhengyi Wu, Lihua Zhou, Shilong Chen, Michael G. Gilbert, Magnus Lidén, John McNeill, John K. Morton, Bengt Oxelman, Richard K. Rabeler, Mats Thulin, Nicholas J. Turland & Warren L. Wagner "Caryophyllaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 6 Page 1. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- James S. Pringle "Gypsophila". in Flora of North America Vol. 5. Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]