This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Cerastium nutans var. brachypodum Engelm.; A.
Am. Acad. 29: 278. 1894.
Annual, light green, viscid-pubescent or pu-berulent all over, stems tufted, erect, 3'-10' tall. Lower and basal leaves oblanceolate or spatulate, obtuse or subacute at the apex, 3"-12" long, narrowed into short petioles, the upper linear or linear-oblong, acute, sessile, sometimes erect-appressed; cymes terminal, few-several-flowered; flowers about 2" broad; fruiting pedicels, or some of them, deflexed, not more than twice as long as the calyx; capsules straight or slightly curved upward, 2-3 times as long as the calyx.
Cerastium arvense L. Sp. Pl. 438. 1753.
Perennial, densely tufted, erect or ascending, pubescent or nearly glabrous, flowering stems simple or sparingly branched, 4'-10' high. Basal leaves and those of the sterile shoots linear-oblong, close, slightly narrowed at the base; stem-leaves distant, linear or narrowly lanceolate, 5"-15" long, 1"-2" wide, acute; flowers several, cymose, 6"-8" broad; pedicels slender, erect; petals obcordate, much exceeding the lanceolate acute sepals which equal or are a little shorter than the slightly oblique pod.
In dry, rocky places, Labrador to Alaska, south to Georgia, Missouri, Nevada and California. Also in Europe and Asia. April-July.
C. velutinum Raf. Med. Rep. II. 5: 359. 1808.
C. oblongifolium Torr. Fl. U. S. 460. 1824.
C. arvense villosum Holl. & Britt. Bull. Torr. Club 14: 49.
1887. C. arvense oblongifolium Holl. & Britt. loc. cit. 47. 1887.
Perennial, tufted, erect or diffuse, pubescent or villous; flowering stems 12' high or less. Leaves lanceolate to oblong or ovate-lanceolate, mostly obtuse, 1 1/2' long or less, 2"-5" wide, those of the flowering stems distant; flowers several, cymose, 7"-10" wide; petals obcordate, much longer than the sepals; pod 12"-15" long, about twice as long as the sepals.
Cerastium alpinum L. Sp. Pl. 438. 1753.
Cerastium Fischerianum Ser. in DC. Prodr. 1: 419. 1824.
Cerastium alpinum Fischerianum T. & G. Fl. N. A. 1: 188. 1838.
Perennial, generally silky-hairy, sterile stems prostrate, flowering stems erect, 2'-12' high. Lower leaves somewhat oblanceolate or spatulate, dense, 2"-4" long, obtuse; upper leaves distant, ovate-oblong, obtusish, 4"-8" long; flowers solitary or 2-3, 6"-9" broad; pedicels slender; petals 2-lobed, twice the length of the lanceolate acute scarious-tipped sepals; pod longer than the calyx, nearly straight.
In moist, rocky places Gaspé, Quebec; Greenland, Labrador and in arctic America to Alaska. Also in arctic and alpine Europe and Asia. Consists of numerous races, differing in size of the plant, size of the flowers, character and amount of pubescence. Summer.