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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 6 | Caryophyllaceae | Silene

51. Silene gracilenta H. Chuang, Fl. Yunnan. 6: 836. 1995.

纤细蝇子草 qian xi ying zi cao

Herbs perennial, 5--10 cm tall, violet septate hairy throughout. Roots multicrowned. Basal leaves caespitose, linear, (2--) 3--5 cm × 1--1.5 mm, both surfaces white villous; cauline leaves usually 1--3 pairs, smaller, shorter than basal leaves. Flower solitary. Pedicel 1.5--4.5 mm. Calyx campanulate, 1--1.3 cm × 5--7 mm, violet glandular hairy; calyx teeth broadly triangular, ca. 3 mm, ciliate, apex obtuse or acute. Androgynophore short, glabrous. Petals pale red, claws narrowly obovate-cuneate, glabrous; limbs exserted beyond calyx, narrowly obovate, bifid deeply to middle, lobes somewhat band-shaped; coronal scales small, laciniate. Stamens not or slightly exserted; filaments glabrous. Styles 3, 1.5--2 mm. Capsule ovoid. Seeds dark brown, reniform, flattened, ca. 1 mm, keeled. Fl. Aug.

* Stone cliffs; 3700--3800 m. NW Yunnan.

Species nos. 52–80 belong to an informal group roughly equivalent to Silene sect. Physolychnis (Bentham) Bocquet. A major difficulty in dealing with the plants in this group is the rather different appearance of the flowers at early anthesis compared with those at the fruiting stage. In some species the calyx swells considerably, and its pigmentation is dependent on exposure and individual variation. The arbitrary division between the “Physolychnis” group and the following “Odontopetalae” group (species nos. 81–90) is based solely on the number of styles, which poorly reflects natural relationships.

The species of the “Physolychnis” group can be described as follows. Herbs perennial. Stems usually simple, erect to ascending. Basal leaves usually caespitose. Inflorescence a thyrse with very unequal branches, or flower solitary. Flowers hermaphroditic, usually nutant. Calyx often inflated, with 10 veins. Androgynophore short. Petals violet, red, or greenish white; claws with auricles; limbs included or exserted beyond calyx, slightly emarginate, 2- or 4-lobed; coronal scales obvious. Styles 5. Capsule (5 or)10-toothed. Seeds abaxially either tuberculate, or with a broad wing, or (in Silene bungei ) with long spinose papillae. The group is widespread in Asia, Europe, and North and South America.


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