|University of California, Berkeley|
|Directory News Site Map Home|
Key to families | Table of families and genera
This text currently parallels The Jepson Manual: Vascular Plants of California, Second Edition that is now available at the University of California Press.
Text appearing in blue on this page will not appear in the printed book; it will be displayed only on the Web. Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.
Annual to perennial herb, ± erect, from caudex, taproot, or rhizome; rarely dioecious.
Leaf: petioled or not; linear to oblanceolate, vein 1.
Inflorescence: generally terminal, open to dense; flowers few to many, pedicels generally 5–40+ mm.
Flower: generally erect, generally bisexual; sepals 5, fused, tube prominent, 4–38 mm, 2–13 mm diam, cylindric to bell-shaped, rounded, hairs various or 0 (walls between hair cells generally clear), veins generally 10+, generally dark, lobes or teeth 1–13 mm, < tube, triangular to linear; petals 5, 6–62 mm, claw long, limb entire or 2–6-lobed, appendages at junction of claw, limb 0–6, generally 2, basal lobes present or 0; stamens generally fertile, bases fused with petal bases to ovary stalk; ovary chamber 1 or ± incompletely 3–5, styles 3(4,5; if 5 then flowers unisexual, taxon dioecious), 1–35 mm.
Fruit: capsule, cylindric to ovoid; stalk (from ovary stalk) 0–7 mm, generally glabrous; teeth 6 or 10, ascending to recurved.
Seed: many, gray to red, brown, or black.
700 species: North America, South America, Eurasia, Africa, introduced ± worldwide. (Greek: probably from mythological Silenus) [Morton 2005 FNANM 5:166–214] Oxelman et al. (2001 Nordic J Bot 20: 743–748) including data for disarticulation of Silene into four additional genera, incl for CA Lychnis (Lychnis coronaria) and Atocion (Atocion armeria (L.) Raf., as Silene armeria here).
Unabridged etymology: (Greek: probably from mythological Silenus, intoxicated foster-father of Bacchus, who was covered with foam; from sticky secretions of many species)
1. Annual, biennial, taproot generally slender
2. Calyx tube clearly 16–30-veined
3. Styles 5; petal limb ± entire to 2-lobed; fruit teeth 10; flower pistillate ..... S. latifolia (3)
3' Styles generally 3; petal limb entire to notched; fruit teeth 3; flower bisexual
4. Calyx 8–12 mm; petal appendages 0 ..... S. coniflora
4' Calyx 18–26 mm; petal appendages 2–5 mm ..... S. conoidea
2' Calyx tube clearly 10-veined
5. Pedicel, calyx glabrous
6. Upper leaves linear to oblanceolate; upper internodes generally sticky; calyx not constricted to a narrow tube ..... S. antirrhina
6' Upper leaves oblanceolate to ovate; upper internodes not sticky; calyx constricted to a narrow tube ..... S. armeria
5' Pedicel, calyx hairy
7. Pedicels 0–5 mm; flowers generally 1 per node; inflorescence ± 1-sided
8. Calyx densely short-hairy, not glandular; petal limb 5–12 mm, lobed >= 1/2 length; styles exserted; inflorescence bracts thin, ± translucent ..... S. dichotoma subsp. dichotoma
8' Calyx glandular-hairy especially on veins; petal limb 2–5 mm, entire to notched; styles included; inflorescence bracts thick, opaque ..... S. gallica
7' Some pedicels > 5 mm; some nodes with 2–3 flowers; inflorescence not 1-sided
9. Petals bright pink; calyx lobes 2–3 mm
10. Petals 2-lobed ..... [S. pendula]
10' Petals entire ..... [S. pseudatocion]
9' Petals white, yellow-white, or ± pink; calyx lobes 3–13 mm
11. Calyx tube veins not clearly net-like, lobes generally 3–6 mm, acute to acuminate; flowers staminate ..... S. latifolia (3)
11' Calyx tube veins net-like above middle, lobes 6–13 mm, generally long-tapered; flowers bisexual ..... S. noctiflora
1' Perennial, from rhizome or simple to branched, woody caudex
12. Corolla bright red
13. Petal lobes 2–4; plants 4–10(15) cm ..... S. serpentinicola
13' Petal lobes 4–6; plants 20–70 cm ..... S. laciniata
14. Cauline leaves widely lanceolate to ovate; fruit ovoid ..... subsp. californica
14' Cauline leaves linear to narrowly lanceolate; fruit ± oblong to ovoid ..... subsp. laciniata
12' Corolla white, ± red, purple, or yellow-white or -green to green
15. Calyx clearly ± inflated (papery in Silene vulgaris)
16. Calyx 12–20 mm, short-hairy, 10- or ± 20-veined, lobes 3–6 mm; fruit ovoid ..... S. latifolia (3)
16' Calyx 7–10 mm, generally glabrous, faintly 10–15-veined, lobes 1–3 mm; fruit ± spheric ..... S. vulgaris
15' Calyx not clearly inflated or papery in fruit
17. Petal claw tapered to limb; appendages 0
18. Calyx lobes 4–5 mm, slightly < tube; petal 4-lobed, claw ± fusiform, short-woolly below middle; s SNH ..... S. aperta
18' Calyx lobes 1–2 mm, << tube; petals entire to slightly notched, claw gradually tapered to limb, glabrous to sparsely short-hairy below middle; KR, s CaRH, c&n SNH ..... S. invisa
17' Petal claw and limb junction generally abrupt, often narrowed; appendages 2–6, 0.5–4 mm
19. Petal limb 2-lobed, sometimes short-toothed near base
20. Basal, lower cauline leaves densely tufted, fleshy, linear to narrowly oblanceolate, generally < 40 mm, < 5 mm wide; flowering stems generally < 30 cm
21. Seeds 2–3 mm; calyx 8–10 mm; petal limb 3–5 mm; basal leaves 1–5 mm wide ..... S. grayi (2)
21' Seeds 1–2 mm; calyx 9–15 mm; petal limb 2.5–3.5 mm; basal leaves 1.5–3.5 mm wide
22. Walls between calyx hair cells clear; plant 10–15(20) cm; calyx lobes 2–3 mm; SNH, SNE ..... S. sargentii
22' Walls between calyx hair cells purple; plant 3–10 cm; calyx lobes 1–2 mm; CaRH ..... S. suksdorfii
20' Basal leaves not densely tufted, not fleshy, generally lanceolate to oblanceolate, some > 30 mm, > 5 mm wide; some flowering stems > 30 cm
23. Petals < 10 mm, calyx 5–7 mm; petal appendages < 0.5 mm ..... S. menziesii (2)
23' Petals > 10 mm, calyx 7–20 mm; petal appendages > 1 mm
24. Fls nodding; stamens, styles much exserted ..... S. bridgesii
24' Fls spreading to generally erect; stamens, styles ± not exserted
25. Pedicel, calyx puberulent, not glandular, rarely glabrous
26. Calyx base truncate to rounded in fruit; basal leaves, lower internodes glabrous to sparsely puberulent ..... S. douglasii var. douglasii
26' Calyx base narrowed in fruit; basal leaves, lower internodes moderately to densely puberulent, ± finely scabrous or not ..... S. verecunda (2)
25' Pedicel, calyx glandular-puberulent to -hairy
27. Basal leaves mostly > 10 mm wide, oblanceolate, lanceolate, or elliptic
28. Cauline leaves << basal leaves; cauline leaf pairs < 3; fruit stalk 1–2 mm, glabrous or sparsely puberulent; calyx lobe veins wider than tube veins; > 1200 m ..... S. nuda
28' Cauline leaves gradually reduced upward; cauline leaf pairs > 4; fruit stalk 3–6 mm, puberulent to woolly; calyx lobe veins ± as wide as tube veins; < 300 m ..... S. scouleri subsp. scouleri
27' Basal, lower cauline leaves 0 or withering (if present, most < 10 mm wide, linear to narrowly oblanceolate)
29. Middle cauline leaves (3)5–10 mm wide; calyx lobe margins membranous ..... S. marmorensis
29' Middle cauline leaves < 6 mm wide; calyx lobe margin generally translucent ..... S. verecunda (2)
19' Petal limb generally 4–8-lobed
30. Calyx 15–40 mm; corolla 20–30 mm
31. Petals pink to rose-red, limbs 14–20 mm; s CaRH ..... S. occidentalis (2)
31' Petals yellow-white, limbs 7–10 mm; SnGb, SnBr, e PR ..... S. parishii
30' Calyx 5–20(25) mm; corolla generally < 20 mm (< 50 mm in Silene occidentalis)
32. Calyx tube generally <= 10 mm
33. Calyx tube cylindric, length > width; stamens, styles > petal claws; petal claw short-woolly ..... S. lemmonii
33' Calyx tube bell-shaped or elliptic, length ± = width; stamens, styles = to ± > petal claws; petal claw glabrous or ciliate at base
34. Petals 5–11 mm, limb 2–4-lobed; fruit stalk glabrous; flowers generally ascending to erect; calyx lobes generally < 2 mm
35. Lvs linear to oblanceolate; internodes 2–3 × > leaves; calyx clearly veined; petal lobes 4, outer generally > inner ..... S. grayi (2)
35' Lvs lanceolate to elliptic; internodes < leaves; calyx faintly veined; petal lobes generally 2 ..... S. menziesii (2)
34' Petals 12–20 mm, limb 4–6(8)-lobed; fruit stalk puberulent; flowers nodding to ± spreading; calyx lobes 2–5 mm ..... S. campanulata
36. Lvs 2–10 mm wide, linear to lanceolate ..... subsp. campanulata
36' Lvs 10–30 mm wide, lanceolate to ± round ..... subsp. glandulosa
32' Calyx tube generally > 10 mm
37. Upper cauline leaves generally overlapping or exceeding pedicels; calyx canescent to soft-white-hairy; petal limb ± = claw, lobes > 10 mm
38. Sts glandular-puberulent above; petal lobes equal or outer < inner, ± linear or lanceolate to broadly oblong, 5–10 mm, appendages 2, linear; stamens included ..... S. hookeri
38' Sts soft-shaggy-hairy or canescent above; petal lobes equal, linear, 15–25 mm, stamens long-exserted.
39. Petal limb white with ± green center or ± pink, appendages 0 ..... S. bolanderi
39' Petal limb salmon-orange, appendages present ..... S. salmonacea
37' Fls located well above cauline leaves; calyx short-glandular-hairy; petal limb 1/3–1/2 × claw, lobes < 8 mm
40. Fr stalk 4–7 mm; petal limb 7–17 mm; calyx > 15 mm ..... S. occidentalis (2)
40' Fr stalk 2–5 mm; petal limb 3–7 mm; calyx generally < 15(18) mm
41. Petal appendages 2, deeply cut or fringed; petal claw, stamen base ciliate ..... S. bernardina
41' Petal appendages 4–6, entire; petal claw, stamen base glabrous ..... S. oregana
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
We encourage links to these pages, but the content may not be downloaded for reposting, repackaging, redistributing, or sale in any form, without written permission from The Jepson Herbarium.