Paronychia franciscana

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Paronychia franciscana
Paronychia franciscana.jpeg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Genus: Paronychia
Species: P. franciscana
Binomial name
Paronychia franciscana

Paronychia franciscana is a species of flowering plant in the pink family known by the common names San Francisco nailwort, California Whitlow-wort, Franciscan paronychia,[1] and Chilean nailwort.[2] It is native to Chile, but it was first described from specimens collected in San Francisco, California, in the United States, where it is an introduced species.[3]

This species is a mat-forming perennial herb growing from a woody caudex. The branching stems stretch prostrate along the ground, reaching up to 50 centimetres (20 inches) in length. The fleshy, somewhat hairy leaves are up to a centimeter long, including their spiny tips. They cover the stems densely. The inflorescence is a tightly packed cyme of 2 to 6 flowers emerging from between leaves. They have no petals, but five tiny green to reddish sepals. The fruit is a utricle just over a millimeter long.[4][5]

This species' native range is in mainland Chile. It is present as an introduction and a weed in the Juan Fernández Islands, particularly Robinson Crusoe Island and Alejandro Selkirk Island, off the Chilean coast. It is also a non-native weed in New South Wales and Victoria in Australia.[6] It has been known from the San Francisco Bay Area since 1887,[4] where it was a common introduced plant growing on the grounds of the Presidio before it ever had a name. Botanist Alice Eastwood used California specimens to give the plant its formal name.[3]


  1. ^ Calflora. 2013. Paronychia franciscana. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database.
  2. ^ Doust, A. (1999). Paronychia franciscana. PlantNET - The Plant Information Network System of The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Sydney, Australia.
  3. ^ a b Eastwood, A. (1901). An undescribed species of Paronychia from California. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 28(5) 288-89.
  4. ^ a b Paronychia franciscana. Flora of North America.
  5. ^ Paronychia franciscana. The Jepson Manual.
  6. ^ Paronychia franciscana. US Forest Service, Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER).