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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 5 | Caryophyllaceae | Silene

11. Silene coniflora Nees ex de Candolle in A. P. de Candolle and A. L. P. P. de Candolle, Prodr. 1: 371. 1824.

Multinerved catchfly

Silene multinervia S. Watson

Plants annual; taproot slender. Stems erect, simple or branched, 20-65 cm, glandular-pubescent. Leaves: proximal forming rosette, blade oblanceolate, spatulate, 3-8(-12) cm × 5-13(-25) mm, apex ± obtuse, sparingly pubescent and glandular; cauline reduced distally, blade lanceolate, 1-7 cm × 2-15 mm, apex ± acute, sparingly pubescent and glandular. Inflorescences dichasiate, open, bracteate; bracts leaflike, to 15 mm. Pedicels ascending, 1-3(-5) cm, densely glandular-pubescent, viscid. Flowers: calyx prominently 20-25-veined, ovate-conic, 8-12 mm, margins dentate, coarsely pubescent, glandular, lobes erect, narrowly lanceolate, 2-3 mm, margins membranous ca. 4 length of calyx; corolla inconspicuous, cream, purple tinged adaxially, dull orange abaxially, equaling or slightly longer than calyx, limb ovate, 1-3 mm, apex notched, appendages absent, auricles round, small; stamens shorter than corolla; stigmas 3, shorter than corolla. Capsules tightly enclosed in calyx, ovoid, with narrow opening, opening by 6 triangular teeth ca. 1 mm; carpophore ca. 1 mm. Seeds dark brown to black, rotund, 0.6-1 mm broad, papillate. 2n = 20 (Asia).

Flowering spring-early summer. Open places, oak parklands, especially after burning; 0-2000 m; introduced; Calif.; Mexico (Baja California); Asia.

Silene coniflora apparently was introduced into North America in the early days of European exploration and settlement of the Pacific coast. It occurs as a native species from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean to Pakistan and Afghanistan. The report by C. V. Piper (1906) of its occurrence in Washington is based on a specimen of S. conica. I have been unable to confirm the statement by M. E. Peck (1961) that S. multinervia is “sparingly introduced” along the coast of Oregon.


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