Silene antirrhina L. - Sleepy Catchfly

Silene antirrhina plant

Family - Caryophyllaceae

Stems - To +50cm tall, from a taproot, erect, typically simple but also branching, retrorse strigillose below, glandular above, mostly hollow, herbaceous, typically with dark viscid patches along internodes in upper portions of stems.

Silene antirrhina stemArrow shows viscid area.

Leaves - Opposite, decussate, sessile, linear-oblong, entire, acute, glabrous, with strigillose margins, to 5cm long, 6mm broad.

Silene antirrhina leaves

Inflorescence - Terminal cymes (dychasia), each division subtended by a pair of linear bracts. Bracts glabrous. Pedicels to 2cm long, glabrous, thin.

Flowers - Apetalous or petals included within the calyx and inconspicuous. Calyx 10-ribbed, 5-toothed, typically 6mm long in flower, quickly expanding. Calyx teeth to 1mm long, ciliolate on margins. Petals 5, white, glabrous, 4-5mm long, 1-1.5mm broad. Stamens 10, included. Filaments whitish, glabrous, 4mm long. Anthers whitish, 2-lobed, .3-.4mm long. Ovary green, cylindric, glabrous, superior, 3.1mm long, 1mm in diameter, 3-locular. Placentation axile. Ovules many, tuberculate. Style wanting. Stigmas 3, white, 1.2mm long.

Silene antirrhina flowerFlower.

Silene antirrhina fruitFruit.

Flowering - April - September.

Habitat - Roadsides, railroads, pastures, fields, waste ground, alluvial woods.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This interesting little species can be found throughout Missouri. The plant is typically found with dark viscid patches along the stem which can trap insects. The petals are rarely seen and many times absent all together. Steyermark breaks the species up into 4 forms characterized by whether or not the plant has petals, the color of those petals, and whether or not the plant has the typical viscid patches. These forms integrate too much and are no longer valid.

Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 6-10-02, and at Logan Creek, Reynolds County, MO., 5-23-03.


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