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

22. Silene hitchguirei Bocquet, Candollea. 22: 29. 1967.

Mountain campion

Lychnis montana S. Watson, Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 12: 247. 1877, not Silene montana Arrondeau 1863; L. apetala Linnaeus subsp. montana (S. Watson) Maguire; L. apetala var. montana (S. Watson) C. L. Hitchcock; Silene uralensis (Ruprecht) Bocquet subsp. montana (S. Watson) McNeill; S. wahlbergella Chowdhuri subsp. montana (S. Watson) Hultén; Wahlbergella montana (S. Watson) Rydberg

Plants perennial, with dense tuft of basal leaves; taproot stout. Flowering stems several, stiffly erect, 2-10(-12) cm, densely pubescent distally, hairs multicellular, with glandular tip; stem leaves in 1 or 2 pairs. Leaves: blade narrowly oblanceolate and long-spatulate, to 2.5 cm × 4 mm, somewhat fleshy, apex acute, ± glabrous except for ciliate margins. Inflorescences 1(-3) per flowering stem. Flowers erect; mature calyx veined, elliptic, not inflated or thin, 7-10(-12) mm, densely pubescent with purple-septate hairs, margins dentate with 1-1.5 mm lobes, apex acute, outwardly curved, veins not much- broadened distally, intermediate ones shorter than calyx, veins and calyx lobes dark purple; petals white or pink, to 11/ 4 times calyx, claw narrow, 10-12 mm, limb not differentiated from claw, obovate, emarginate, ca. 3 mm; stamens equaling calyx; styles 5, equaling calyx. Capsules equaling calyx, opening by 5 teeth, tardily splitting into 10, triangular, outwardly curved. Seeds brown, reniform to angular, (0.5-)0.7-1(-1.3) mm diam., wrinkled, wing narrow, less than 1/ 4 diam. of seed. 2n = 24.

Flowering summer. Alpine tundra; 3000-4300 m; Alta.; Colo., Mont., Utah, Wyo.

Silene hitchguirei is similar to S. suksdorfii, except that the latter species has larger seeds, an urceolate fruiting calyx with a contracted base, an inflorescence that is sometimes branched with up to three flowers, and short, erect stems that have three or four pairs of leaves. It is probably closely related to S. involucrata subsp. tenella and S. ostenfeldii but differs in its small size, its usually solitary flowers, and short petals. The wing on its small seeds is narrower than that of S. involucrata subsp. tenella, whereas in S. ostenfeldii the wing is completely absent.


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