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

1. Silene linnaeana Voroschilov, Florist. Issl. V. Razn. Raionakh SSSR. 167. 1985.

林奈蝇子草 lin nai ying zi cao

Lychnis sibirica Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 437. 1753, not Silene sibirica (Linnaeus) Persoon (1805, based on Cucubalus sibiricus Linnaeus); ?L. yunnanensis E. G. Baker; Melandrium sibiricum (Linnaeus) A. Braun.

Herbs perennial, 15--20 cm tall, pubescent with a mixture of glandular and eglandular hairs. Rootstock sturdy. Stems caespitose, erect, apically branched. Basal leaves oblanceolate to oblong; cauline leaves lanceolate, 1.5--2.5 cm × 3--6 mm. Dichasium several flowered, lax. Pedicel 4--30 mm; bracts leaflike. Calyx funnel-shaped, 5--7 × 2.5--3 mm, sparsely glandular hairy, veins obscure, teeth very obtuse, margin membranous. Petals white, to 1.3 cm; claw cuneate, shorter than sepals or slightly longer, without auricles; limb broadly obovate, bifid for 1/4--1/3 its length; lobes entire, sometimes with a lateral tooth on each side; coronal scales rounded. Stamens slightly exserted. Styles 5. Androgynophore ca. 1 mm.

Pinus forests, sandy steppes, rocky foothill grasslands. Nei Mongol [Mongolia, Russia (Far East, Siberia)].

Lychnis yunnanensis was described from material allegedly collected in Yunnan and received from Max Leichtlin. The plant evidently belongs in the Silene linnaeana group, but differs from S. linnaeana sensu stricto in having broader flowers with larger petals that sometimes have prominent lateral teeth, and in having a much denser indumentum. The other Siberian taxa also always lack the lateral teeth, which might indicate that L. yunnanensis is something different. Indeed, Wu Zhengyi (editor’s note) believes that it is distinct because of the wide geographic disjunction and morphological differences. However, until more records of this plant are made from the Yunnan area, the record is best regarded as doubtful. Lychnis yunnanensis is sometimes erroneously placed in the synonymy of S. huguettiae .

The Lychnis sibirica group has recently been demonstrated to belong to Silene by molecular and morphological studies (Oxelman et al., Nordic J. Bot. 20: 513–518. 2001).


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