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a genus of plants of the family Caryophyllaceae. They are perennial or, less often, annual or biennial grasses with opposite linear-laneolate or ovoid leaves. The perianth is usually pentamerous, and the petals are white and bipartite or emarginate. There are ten stamens, and the fruit is a capsule.
There are about 100 species, found throughout the world. In the USSR there are over 50 species, of which the most common are S. holostea, growing in deciduous and mixed forests, on the edges of forests, and in gardens and parks, and 5. graminea, found in meadows, in sunny woods, on forest edges, and sometimes in cultivated fields. The species 5. graminea is poisonous to horses and cattle. The species 5. media, or chickweed, is a tenacious weed growing in gardens and fields, near dwellings, and on waste ground.
REFERENCEKott, C. A. Sornye rasteniia i bor’ba s nimi, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1961.
T. V. EGOROVA