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

32. Silene nachlingerae Tiehm, Brittonia. 37: 344, fig. 1. 1985.

Nachlinger's or Jan's catchfly

Plants perennial; taproot stout; caudex usually branched, woody, producing tufts of basal leaves and 1-several flowering shoots. Stems subscapose, with (1-)2-3(-4) pairs of leaves, 6-25 cm, much reduced above base, retrorsely puberulent, eglandular. Leaves 2 per node; basal blades oblanceolate, spatulate, 1.4-4 cm × 2-5 mm, base ciliate, apex acute, subglabrous to retrorse-puberulent; cauline shortly connate proximally, blade narrowly oblanceolate to linear-lanceolate, 0.5-3.5 cm × 1-2 mm, apex purple tinged, retrorse-puberulent, often sparsely so. Inflorescences 1-3(-4)-flowered, open. Pedicels erect, 1-4 times longer than fruiting calyx, retrorsely puberulent, without glandular hairs. Flowers: calyx prominently 10-veined, cylindric, becoming narrowly ovoid, not inflated, not contracted proximally around carpophore, 6-11.5 × 3 mm in flower, broadening to ca. 5 mm in fruit, membranous, uniformly puberulent, without glandular hairs, veins parallel, green, with pale commissures, lobes triangular, 1-1.5 mm, margins narrowly membranous, apex purple-tipped; corolla white, usually flushed with pink or purple towards apex, ligulate to ± oblanceolate, slightly longer than calyx, not clearly differentiated into claw and limb, unlobed to notched, auricles and appendages absent; stamens equaling calyx; styles 3, included in calyx. Capsules ellipsoid-ovoid, slightly longer than calyx, opening by 6 ascending teeth; carpophore ca. 1 mm. Seeds rust colored, reniform, 0.7-1 mm, margins papillate; papillae large, inflated.

Flowering summer. Alpine limestone ridges and slopes; of conservation concern; 2500-3000 m; Nev., Utah.

Silene nachlingerae is a small version of S. invisa, although the latter species has glabrous leaves. Both have the characteristic inflated (balloonlike) papillae around the outer edge of the seed.


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