Sagina papuana

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Sagina papuana


Polymorphous perennial herb often growing in loose mats or low, dense cushions. Leaves glabrous or with few hairs along the margin, linear to acicular, 4-13 by 1 mm, cuspidate at apex, with broadened sheath-like base. Flowers solitary, apparently axillary (but terminal on very short axillary shoots); Sepals 3-5, herbaceous, ovate-oblong, 3-6 by 2-2.5 mm, apex obtuse, base truncate to subsaccate, 3-nerved. Petals (0), 4 or 5, oblong-ovate or oblong-narrowly elliptic, apex obtuse or mucronate. Stamens 8-10, 2.5-3 mm, filaments of episepalous stamens with a small basal gland. Ovary glabrous, broadly ovoid. Capsule glabrous, 3-6 by 3-4.5 mm, opening by 5 valves. Seeds reniform, dark reddish brown, smooth, c. 0.5 mm.


Asia-Tropical: Maluku (Maluku present); New Guinea present (Irian Jaya present); Philippines (Philippines present); Sulawesi (Sulawesi present), Ceram present, Luzon present, Papua New Guinea present
In Malesia: Philippines (Luzon), Sulawesi, Moluccas (Ceram), New Guinea (Irian Jaya and Papua New Guinea). In New Guinea it is the most common species of Sagina.


This is a polymorphous species. Mattfeld, l.c. 270, mentions that the type has apetalous flowers, while other collections have 4 or 5 petals. There is also variation in life forms as some of the collections from about 3000 m altitude form dense mats and have small flowers with sepals only 3 mm and seeds 0.3-0.4 mm. Plants with pentamerous flowers often produce some 4-merous ones. In most collections the petals are said to be white, but in e.g. Brass 4388 they are described as pale pink.


Hoogland 1958 – In: Blumea. p 228
Merr. & L.M. Perry 1942 – In: J. Arnold Arbor. 23. p 388
P. Royen 1982: p. 2351. – In: Alpine Fl. New Guinea. f. 700, pl. 167
Mattf. 1938 – In: Bot. Jahrb. Syst. p 270
Schum. & Lauterb. 1900: Fl. Schutzgeb. Süd-see. p 310