Herniaria hirsuta subsp. cinerea (DC.) Coutinho
Family: Caryophyllaceae
hairy rupturewort
[Herniaria cinerea DC.]
Herniaria hirsuta subsp. cinerea image
Max Licher  
Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969, Jepson 1993
Duration: Annual Nativity: Non-Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Introduced annual, prostrate and spreading, forming mats 5-25 cm wide, hispid throughout, ovate stipules, 0.5-0.8 mm long, ciliate, hyaline. Leaves: Sessile, oblong to oblanceolate, 3-11 mm long, acute at apex. Flowers: Dense axillary clusters of 3-8 greenish flowers, calyx 1.8-2 mm long, campanulate tube, about 0.4-0.6 mm long, calyx lobes ovate, slightly boat-shaped, unequal, 0.8-1.4 mm long, margins of inner ones narrowly hyaline-winged, either hooked or tightly coiled. Fruits: Utricle broadly ovoid-lenticular, yellowish, granulose-puberulent near apex, about 0.8 mm high, suborbicular-lenticular seeds, about 0.6 mm in diameter, dark red-brown. Ecology: Found in disturbed areas, alkaline hills, clay flats below 3,000 ft (914 m); flowers March-April. Notes: Distinguished by being small and inconspicuous, annual, with stems branching from base, and the minute stipules. Ethnobotany: Unknown, but it was historically said to be used in the treatment of hernias. Etymology: Herniaria is from the Latin hernia, to rupture, while hirsuta means hairy. Synonyms: Herniaria cinerea Editor: SBuckley, 2010