Silene drummondii

Fl. Bor.-Amer. 1: 89. 1830.
Common names: Drummond’s catchfly forked catchfly
Synonyms: Gastrolychnis drummondii (Hooker) Á. Löve & D. Löve Lychnis drummondii (Hooker) S. Watson Melandrium drummondii (Hooker) Porsild Wahlbergella drummondii (Hooker) Rydberg
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 5. Treatment on page 183. Mentioned on page 168, 187.

Plants perennial; taproot stout; caudex branched, somewhat fleshy. Stems erect, simple or several from base, retrorsely puberulent proximally, densely so and viscid distally, with stipitate glands. Leaves: blade with stiff, appressed pubescence on both surfaces; basal petiolate, blade lanceolate to elliptic or oblanceolate, (1.5–)3–10 cm × 4–12 mm (including petiole); cauline in 2–5 pairs, blade linear to linear-lanceolate, 3–9 cm × 2–7 mm. Inflorescences 1–20-flowered, bracteate, strongly viscid-glandular or less densely pubescent, longer hairs sometimes purple-septate; bracts narrowly lanceolate, thick, 3–15 mm, herbaceous, apex acuminate. Pedicels stiffly erect, 0.1–5 cm, varying in length within same inflorescence. Flowers: calyx 10-veined, broadly tubular to narrowly ellipsoid, not inflated, 12–18 × 4–8 mm in fruit, 2–3 times as long as broad, membranous between veins, margins dentate with 5 triangular, 1.2–2 mm lobes erect in flower and spreading in fruit, apex acuminate, veins green; petals off-white to dusky pink or dingy reddish purple, clawed, equaling or to 11/2 times calyx, claw broadened distally, limb not differentiated from claw, narrower than claw, 1–3 mm; stamens included in calyx; styles (4–)5, included in calyx. Capsules 12–15 mm, equaling calyx (rarely to 11/2 times calyx), opening by (4–)5 spreading teeth. Seeds dark brown, not winged, reniform to angular, 0.7–1 mm diam., margins finely papillate; papillae triangular, slender, longer than broad.


Subspecies 2 (2 in the flora).

Subspecies drummondii is characteristically a prairie taxon, while subsp. striata is associated with the Rocky Mountains. However, the two taxa frequently appear to intergrade; e.g., in the Cypress Hills of southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, and in the southern Rockies. Variety kruckebergii appears to be a luxuriant form with a more elongate capsule and calyx. Silene invisa, a Californian species, is similar to S. drummondii, some plants of which, from Nevada and Arizona, tend to be intermediate (see note under S. invisa).

Selected References



1 Petals equaling calyx; fruiting calyces 12-15 × 4-6 mm, 21/ 4-3 times as long as broad; seeds ca. 0.7 mm diam.; inflorescences typically (1-)3-10(-20)-flowered Silene drummondii subsp. drummondii
1 Petals 11/ 1/ 2 times calyx and clearly exserted from it; fruiting calyces 13-18 × 6-8 mm, ca. 2 times as long as broad; seeds ca. 1 mm diam.; inflorescences typically 1-4(-8)-flowered Silene drummondii subsp. striata