Antarctic pearlwort Colobanthus quitensis, copyright Patricio Novoa Quezada.

Belongs within: Caryophyllaceae.

Colobanthus is a genus of small tufted herbs found primarily in montane and southern regions of Australasia and South America (Harden 1990).

Characters (from Harden 1990): Small tufted perennial herbs, much branched from base. Leaves sessile, imbricate, narrow-linear to triangular, sometimes rigid and pungent or ending in a fine hair. Flowers bisexual, solitary, on slender or thickened pedicels. Sepals 5, free, acute to obtuse. Petals absent. Stamens usually 5, alternating with sepals. Ovary 1-locular; styles 5. Capsule as long as or longer than calyx, opening by 5 obtuse teeth; seeds ovoid to globose, numerous.

<==Colobanthus Bartl. 1830A61
|--C. acicularis Hook. f. 1864A61
|--C. affinis (Hook.) Hook. f. 1855 [=Spergula affinis Hook. 1840]A61
|--C. apetalus (Labill.) Druce 1917 [=Spergula apetala Labill. 1804; incl. C. billardieri Fenzl 1836]A61
| |--C. a. var. apetalusA61
| `--C. a. var. alpinus (Kirk) Moore in Allan 1961 (see below for synonymy)A61
|--C. brevisepalus Kirk 1895A61
|--C. buchananii Kirk 1895A61
|--C. caespitosus Colenso 1895A61
|--C. canaliculatus Kirk 1895 [incl. C. squarrosus Cheesem. 1896]A61
|--C. crassifolius [=Sagina crassifolia D’Urville 1826]A61
|--C. hookeri Cheesem. 1921 (see below for synonymy)A61
|--C. kerguelensisSBG97
|--C. masonae Moore in Allan 1961A61
|--C. monticola Petrie 1912A61
|--C. muelleri Kirk 1895A61 (see below for synonymy)
|--C. muscoides Hook. f. 1844A61
|--C. nivicolaH90
|--C. pulvinatus Mueller 1855A61
|--C. quitensis Bartl. in Presl 1831A61
|--C. repens Colenso 1887A61
|--C. strictus Cheesem. 1921 [=C. muelleri var. strictus Cheesem. 1906]A61
`--C. wallii Petrie 1923 [incl. C. mollis Oliver 1926]A61

Colobanthus apetalus var. alpinus (Kirk) Moore in Allan 1961 [=C. billardieri var. alpinus Kirk 1895, C. crassifolius var. alpinus (Kirk) Cheesem. 1925]A61

Colobanthus hookeri Cheesem. 1921 [incl. C. benthamianus Cheesem. 1906 non Fenzl 1836, C. subulatus Hook. f. 1844 non Sagina subulata Urv. 1826]A61

Colobanthus muelleri Kirk 1895A61 [incl. C. billardieri var. brachypoda Muell. 1864A61, C. billardieri var. multicaulis Kirk 1895A61, C. muelleri var. multicaulisC06]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A61] Allan, H. H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand vol. 1. Indigenous Tracheophyta: Psilopsida, Lycopsida, Filicopsida, Gymnospermae, Dicotyledones. R. E. Owen, Government Printer: Wellington (New Zealand).

[C06] Cheeseman, T. F. 1906. Manual of the New Zealand Flora. John Mackay, Government Printer: Wellington.

[H90] Harden, G. J. (ed.) 1990. Flora of New South Wales vol. 1. New South Wales University Press.

[SBG97] Starý, J., W. Block & P. Greenslade. 1997. Oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida) of sub-Antarctic Heard Island. Journal of Natural History 31: 545–553.

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