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

46. Silene pseudatocion Desfontaines, Fl. Atlant. 1: 353. 1798. (as pseudo-atocion).

Plants annual; taproot slender. Stems straggling to erect, much-branched, elongate, 20-70 cm, sparsely retrorse-puberulent. Leaves 2 per node, sessile with spatulate, broad, ciliate base, blade oblanceolate, 1.3-5 cm × 4-15 mm, apex acuminate, glabrous or sparsely setose. Inflorescences cymose, open, compound, pedunculate; bracts leaflike, lanceolate, 3-15 mm, apex acuminate; peduncle ascending, elongate, viscid stipitate-glandular. Pedicels ascending, elongate, viscid stipitate-glandular. Flowers: calyx prominently 10-veined, clavate, with long, slender tube surrounding carpophore, 17-20 × 4-6 mm, veins parallel, green or purple with purple stipitate glands, with pale commissures, lobes lanceolate, 2-3 mm, margins ciliate, apex acute; corolla bright pink, clawed, claw slightly longer than calyx, limb obovate, unlobed, ca. 1 cm, appendages 2, oblong, 2 mm, entire; stamens included in tip of calyx tube; styles 3, exserted. Capsules ovoid, slightly longer than calyx, opening by 6 recurved teeth; carpophore 9-10 mm, pubescent. Seeds dull and very dark brown, almost globose, inrolled like a clenched fist, 1-1.3 mm, sides with radiating wrinkles, finely tuberculate abaxially. 2n = 24 (Balearic Islands).

Flowering spring. Neglected gardens, roadsides, waste places; 0-500 m; introduced; Calif.; Europe (Balearic Islands); n Africa.

Silene pseudatocion is occasionally grown in gardens and rarely occurs as a weed in California. It is similar to another garden escape, S. pendula, but it differs in having a calyx tube with a very long, slender base and unlobed petals.


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