Plants perennial, cespitose or not; taproot stout. Stems erect, branched or simple, 5–40 cm, glabrous or pubescent. Leaves: basal few or numerous, petiolate, blade narrowly oblanceolate, spatulate, 1–13 cm × 1–7 mm, margins ciliate, glabrous or pubescent; cauline in 1–5 pairs, sessile, much reduced distally, blade linear to lanceolate, 0.1–4 cm × 1–5 mm. Pedicels slender or stout. Flowers erect or nodding; calyx prominently 10-veined, ovate-elliptic to broadly campanulate, inflated, 11–18 × 6–13 mm, thin and papery, veins purple or brown, lobes ovate to triangular, 2–3 mm; corolla dingy pink, purple, or red, claw shorter than to equaling calyx, limb not differentiated from claw, ovate or obovate, unlobed to 2-lobed, 1–4 mm; stamens shorter than petals; styles 5, shorter than petals. Capsules equaling to slightly longer than calyx, opening by 10 recurved teeth; carpophore 1–2 mm. Seeds brown or sooty brown, broadly winged, round to ± angular, 1.5–2.5 mm diam. including wing.
Greenland, Canada, nw United States including Alaska, e Asia (Russian Far East, Siberia).
Subspecies 3 (3 in the flora).
Silene uralensis is a very variable species complex. Recently, A. Kurtto (2001) has resurrected S. wahlbergella as a species distinct from S. uralensis, differing in its shorter petals and larger capsule. It appears to be confined to Scandanavia and adjoining arctic Russia. North American reports of S. wahlbergella (and its synonym Lychnis apetala) are all referable to S. uralensis.
|1||Inflorescences usually simple, pedicels slender with single nodding (deflexed) flower (fruiting pedicels erect); seeds 1.5-2(-2.5) mm diam. (incl. broad wing).||Silene uralensis subsp. uralensis|
|1||At least some of the inflorescences branched with 2 to several flowers, pedicels erect to angled but not deflexed except at tip in flower; seeds 2-2.5 mm diam||> 2|
|2||Stems usually glabrous to sparsely, rarely pubescent, (15-)20-40 cm, slender; inflorescences branched with (1-)2-10 flowers; corolla only slightly exceeding calyx||Silene uralensis subsp. ogilviensis|
|2||Stems densely pubescent with purple-septate hairs, 10-35 cm, stout; at least some inflorescences forked with 1-3(-4) flowers; corolla usually ca. 11/ 2 times calyx||Silene uralensis subsp. porsildii|