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

37. Silene oregana S. Watson, Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts. 10: 343. 1875.

Oregon catchfly

Silene filisecta M. Peck; S. gormanii Howell; S. oregana var. filisecta (M. Peck) M. Peck

Plants perennial; taproot stout; caudex simple or sparsely branched, woody. Stems usually simple proximal to inflorescence, 30-50(-70) cm, puberulent and shortly stipitate-glandular, espec-ially distally. Leaves 2 per node, gradually reduced distally; basal petiolate, blade oblanceolate, spatulate, 5-9 cm × 7-15 mm (including petiole), apex acute to obtuse, usually glabrous adaxially, sparsely pubescent abaxially; cauline in 4-6 pairs, blade linear-lanceolate, 1-6(-8) cm × 2-6 mm, puberulent and shortly stipitate-glandular. Inflorescences thyrsate, 3-25-flowered, open, bracteate, pedunculate, stipitate-glandular, viscid; bracts narrowly lanceolate, 2-25 mm, apex acuminate. Pedicels ascending. Flowers: calyx prominently 10-veined, narrowly campanulate, umbilicate, somewhat clavate and constricted below middle around carpophore, 9-15 × 3-4 mm in flower, broadening to 7 mm in fruit, membranous, shortly stipitate-glandular, veins parallel, slender, tinged dark red, with pale commissures, lobes ovate-lanceolate, obtuse, 2-3 mm, margins scarious; corolla creamy white, sometimes pink tinged, clawed, claw equaling calyx, glabrous, broadening only slightly into limb 3-8 mm, limb with 4-6 linear lobes, some splitting to 10 linear segments, appendages 4-6, linear, 1-1.5 mm, apex acute; stamens ca. equaling petals; filaments glabrous; stigmas 3(-5), ca. equaling petals. Capsules ellipsoid, slightly longer than calyx, opening by 6 (or 8 or 10) very brittle teeth; carpophore 2-4 mm. Seeds brown, ± reniform, angular, glossy, shallowly tuberculate. 2n = 48.

Flowering summer. Dry, grassy slopes, rocky areas, open woodlands and forests; 1500-2800 m; Calif., Idaho, Mont., Nev., Oreg., Utah, Wash., Wyo.

The creamy white laciniate petals are the best field (and herbarium) guide to distinguishing this species from Silene parryi and S. scouleri, both of which have 2-4-lobed petals that are usually dingy cream to greenish or purple tinged.


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