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Vascular Plants of California
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Silene verecunda

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CaryophyllaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: PINK FAMILY
Habit: Annual to perennial herb; rarely dioecious (Silene), taprooted or rhizome generally slender. Leaf: simple, generally opposite (subwhorled), entire, pairs at nodes often +- connected at bases; stipules generally 0; petiole generally 0. Inflorescence: generally cyme, generally open; flowers 1--many; involucre generally 0 (present in Dianthus, Petrorhagia). Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium often present but obscure; sepals (4)5, +- free or fused into a tube, margins generally scarious, more so on inner 2 or not, tube generally not scarious, awns generally 0; petals (4)5 or 0, generally tapered to base (or with claw long, limb expanded), entire to 2--several-lobed, limb generally without scale-like appendages adaxially, generally without ear-like lobes at base; stamens generally 10, generally fertile, generally free, generally from ovary base; nectaries 0 or 5; ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, placentas basal or free-central, styles 2--5 with 0 branches or 1 with 2--3 branches. Fruit: capsule or utricle (rarely +- dehiscent), generally sessile. Seed: appendage generally 0 (present in Moehringia).
Genera In Family: 83 or 89 genera, 3000 species: widespread, especially arctic, alpine, temperate northern hemisphere; some cultivated (Agrostemma, Arenaria, Cerastium, Dianthus, Gypsophila, Lychnis, Sagina, Saponaria, Silene, Vaccaria). Note: Apetalous Caryophyllaceae can also be keyed in Rabeler & Hartman 2005 FNANM 5:5--8.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald L. Hartman & Richard K. Rabeler, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: SileneView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Species In Genus: 700 species: North America, South America, Eurasia, Africa, introduced +- worldwide. Etymology: (Greek: probably from mythological Silenus, intoxicated foster-father of Bacchus, who was covered with foam; from sticky secretions of many species) Note: Oxelman et al. (2001 Nordic J Bot 20: 743--748) including data for disarticulation of Silene into four additional genera, including for California Lychnis (Lychnis coronaria) and Atocion (Atocion armeria (L.) Raf., as Silene armeria here).
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald L. Hartman, Richard K. Rabeler & Dieter H. Wilken
Reference: Morton 2005 FNANM 5:166--214
Silene verecunda S. Watson
Habit: Perennial herb 10--55 cm; caudex branches few to many. Stem: erect, +- scabrous to puberulent, glandular above or not. Leaf: +- gradually reduced upward, stiff to flexible; lower 3--9 cm, 2--9 mm wide, generally lanceolate; middle spreading to erect; upper 1--4.5 cm, 2--6 mm wide, linear to lanceolate. Flower: calyx 10--15 mm, +- densely puberulent to glandular-puberulent, 10-veined, lobes 2--5 mm; petal claw ciliate throughout or at base, appendages 2, limb white to rose, lobes 2; stamens +- = petal claws; styles 3(4), exserted. Fruit: oblong to ovoid; stalk 2--5 mm, puberulent. Seed: 1--1.5 mm, dark brown to black. Chromosomes: 2n=48.
Ecology: Open areas, chaparral, sagebrush, oak woodland, pinyon/juniper woodland, conifer forest; Elevation: < 3400 m. Bioregional Distribution: c&s NCoR, SN (exc n SNF, Teh), ScV (Sutter Buttes), CW (exc s CCo), SW, W&I, DMtns; Distribution Outside California: to Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Baja California. Flowering Time: Summer
Synonyms: Silene verecunda subsp. andersonii (Clokey) C.L. Hitchc. & Maguire; Silene verecunda subsp. platyota (S. Watson) C.L. Hitchc. & Maguire; Silene verecunda subsp. verecunda; Silene verecunda var. eglandulosa C.L. Hitchc. & Maguire; Silene verecunda var. platyota (S. Watson) Jeps.; Silene verecunda var. verecunda
Jepson eFlora Author: Ronald L. Hartman, Richard K. Rabeler & Dieter H. Wilken
Reference: Morton 2005 FNANM 5:166--214
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Botanical illustration including Silene verecunda

botanical illustration including Silene verecunda


Citation for this treatment: Ronald L. Hartman, Richard K. Rabeler & Dieter H. Wilken 2012, Silene verecunda, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on March 23, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on March 23, 2019.

Silene verecunda
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© 2015 Keir Morse
Silene verecunda
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© 2008 Thomas Stoughton
Silene verecunda
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© 2019 Aaron Schusteff
Silene verecunda
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© 2018 Aaron Schusteff
Silene verecunda
click for enlargement
© 2019 Aaron Schusteff
Silene verecunda
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© 2019 Aaron Schusteff

More photos of Silene verecunda in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Silene verecunda:
c&s NCoR, SN (exc n SNF, Teh), ScV (Sutter Buttes), CW (exc s CCo), SW, W&I, DMtns;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.