1Stipules present (Paronychioideae)
1'Stipules absent
2Leaves broad, ovate-orbicular
2'Leaves linear-narrowly elliptic
3Styles 5 (or 3), free
3'Styles joined, at least at the base
4Sepals carinate, green with scarious margin
4'Sepals not carinate, entirely scarious (except for a green midnerve in P. zollingeri).
5Sepals free, petals short clawed (Alsinoideae)
5'Sepals connate, petals usually long-clawed (Caryophylloideae)
6Styles 2
6'Styles 2-5, flowers always hypogynous, if styles 2 then petals divided
7Flowers perigynous, small, petals absent
7'Flowers hypogynous, petals usually present
8Capsule opening with undivided valves in the same number as styles.
8'Capsule opening with more or less deeply divided teeth, so that the number is twice that of styles
9Styles 2-3
9'Styles 5
10Capsule ovoid, dehiscing by 5 bifid valves, styles alternating with the sepals, petals divided to the base
10'Capsule cylindrical, dehiscing by 10 equal or subequal teeth, styles opposite the sepals, petals undivided or divided halfway down
11Calyx 5-winged, styles 2
11'Calyx not winged, styles 2, 3, or 5
12Styles 3-5
12'Styles 2
13Styles 3 (4-5), capsule-teeth twice as many as styles
13'Styles 5, capsule-teeth as many as styles
14Calyx teeth with scarious commisures
14'Calyx teeth without scarious commisures
15Epicalyx scales present
15'Epicalyx scales absent