Caryophyllaceae – Pink
This is a very large group with 81 genera and 2,625 known species around the world’s temperate climates with 20 genera found in North America. Named for the rough edged patterns on their five petals, those in the Caryophyllaceae seem to have been fringed by pinking shears, thus the family’s common name, Pink, originating from the shape not color. Interestingly, one of the most common European members of this family, Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William), is bright fuchsia with characteristically fringed petals, the word for “pink-coloured” was first recorded in the 1680’s referring to the English verb “to pink” (originating from the 14th century) meaning “to decorate with a perforated or punched pattern,” possibly from German “pinken,” meaning “to peck.” Therefore, in this case, the popularly used color term derives from the flower, which, in turn, originated from the household item.
Although the degree and pattern to which these petals are fringed or deeply serrated can vary, all members of Caryophyllaceae display simple opposite leaves emerging from swollen nodes along the stem. Flowers are typically terminal or branch out from forked cymes. Flowers are regular with five petals, five individual sepals, and stamens numbering in multiples of five. Regarding horticultural varieties, Carnations, Baby’s Breath, and Sweet William some of the most well-known Pink family members. In Willamette Valley wetland prairies, only a few natives occur, with a number of invasive species being in more abundance.
Stellaria calycantha – Northern StarwortSpecies Code: STCA
Habit: An erect to trailing rhizomatous perennial with semi-square stems, ranging from 5 to 25 centimeters in length.
Leaves: Ovate to elliptic, sessile, glabrous leaves are 3 to 25 millimeters long, margins usually entire, but sometimes ciliate.
Flowers: Inflorescences are terminal cymes of 1 to 5 perfect flowers exhibiting radial symmetry. Five long sepals are 1 ½ to 3 millimeters long and, if present, five petals measure half as long as sepals. Flowers include five stamens and three curved styles that are between 0.4 to 0.9 mm.
Fruits: Produced green capsules that are globose and semitransparent, ranging in size from 3 to 5 mm and are 1 ½ times as long than they are broad. Capsules develop three open valves to release many, tiny brown seeds. 
Ecology: Facultative Wetland Species (FACW), found in boggy areas, riparian zones, and moist woodlands.
Stellaria longifolia – Long Leaved Starwort
 Elpel, T. J., Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification. HOPS Press, 2004. 58
 Quattrocchi, U. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology. CRC Press, Boca Raton. 2000.
 City of Eugene, Parks Seed Collection Manual, Stellaria calycantha, 2009.
 Gilkey, H. Handbook of Northwestern Plants, Revised Edition. Oregon State University Press; Corvallis, OR. 2001.
 Gilkey, H. Handbook of Northwestern Plants, Revised Edition. Oregon State University Press; Corvallis, OR. 2001. 140.
 USDA Plants Database: < https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=STCA>