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

4. Silene armeria Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 420. 1753.

Sweet-William catchfly, silène arméria

Atocion armeria (Linnaeus) Rafinesque

Plants annual, glabrous through-out, ± glaucous, some-times glu-tinous in distal parts; taproot slender. Stems simple, branched in inflorescence, (10-)20-40(-70) cm. Leaves: basal withering be-fore flowering, blade lanceolate-spatulate, 2-5 cm; cauline sessile to amplexicaulous, blade lanceolate to ovate or elliptic, 1-6 cm × 5-25 mm, apex acute. Inflorescences cymose, bracteate; cyme capitate or with flowers clustered at end of slender branches; bracts lanceolate-acicular, 2-10 mm. Pedicels 0.1-0.5 cm. Flowers: calyx usually purple tinged, 10-veined, elongate, clavate, lobed, constricted proximally into narrow tube, 13-17 × 2.5-4 mm, rather mem-branous; lobes ovate-triangular, ca. 1 mm, apex obtuse; petals pink (rarely white), unlobed, limb obovate, ca. 5 mm, base cuneate into claw 6-8 mm, auricles absent, appendages linear to lanceolate, 2-3 mm, apex acute; stamens slightly longer than petal claws; styles 3(-4), exserted. Capsules oblong, 7-10 mm, opening by 6 (or 8) spreading teeth; carpophore 7-8 mm, glabrous. Seeds dark brown, reniform-rotund, less than 1 mm diam., rugose. 2n = 24 (Europe).

Flowering summer. Waste places, disturbed ground; 0-1200 m; introduced; B.C., N.B., N.S., Ont., Que.; Calif., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ill., Ind., Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Oreg., Pa., S.C., Utah, Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis.; Europe.

The long-tubular, clavate calyx enclosing the unusually long carpophore helps to distinguish Silene armeria. It is an occasional and adventive garden escape.


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