Silene repens
Pink campion

Alaska Wildflowers | White | Pink

A terminal cluster of blossoms of Silene repens, commonly known as pink campion.

Silene repens
Pink campion

Common Names

silène rampant
pink campion
creeping catchfly
pink catchfly
creeping silene

Synonyms

Silene purpurata
Silene repens ssp. australis
Silene repens ssp. typica
Silene repens ssp. purpurata
Silene repens var. australis
Silene repens var. costata

Subspecies

none

Genus: Silene
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Order: Caryophyllales
taxonomic heirarchy

Duration – Growth Habit

Perennial – Forb/herb

Identification and Information

Silene repens, commonly known as pink campion, is a perennial herb that grows from a slender taproot and a woody, branched caudex. It produces underground creeping stems with clumps of flowering shoots. The aerial stems are erect, simple or branched, and 7-35 cm tall (up to 40 cm). The basal leaves are linear to narrowly lanceolate, 2-6 cm long and 2-6 mm wide. The cauline leaves are oppositely arranged (2 per node), linear linear-lanceolate, single-veined, and covered in short, fine hair.



The inflorescence is a cyme of 2-20 bisexual flowers subtended by bracts. The bracts are narrowly lanceolate and 2-15 mm long. The calyx is 5-lobed, tubular-campanulate (an inflated, tube-shaped bell), partially or entirely purple, 10-15 mm long, and 10-veined. The pedicels are shorter than the calyx, 1-10 mm long. Most literature (and what I’ve seen) describes the corolla (petals) as white, sometimes pinkish or pink, although Flora of North America describes them as rose pink and rarely white. The petals are fused at the base and cleft (sometimes deeply to 1/3 the length of the petal). The flower has stamens with white filaments and large cream or tan-colored anthers and 3-4 styles. The fruits are ovoid capsules with six spreading teeth, and the seeds are grayish-brown, reniform (kidney-shaped), and not winged.

Flowering in summer.


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Uses

For information only (typically historical) – I take no responsibility for adverse effects from the use of any plant.

No traditional, medicinal, or culinary uses were found. However, other plants in the Silene genus have numerous uses (Native American Ethnobotany Database).


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Distribution and Habitat

Map data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), NatureServe Explorer, and Kew

Silene repens is distributed sparsely through northwestern North America, including Alaska, The Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. It’s found throughout much of northern Asia, mostly in Siberia, China, North and South Korea, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan, and extending slightly into eastern Europe.

It lives in arctic and mountain areas, open forests, and dry slopes.

Classification

RankScientific Name (Common Name)
KingdomPlantae (plantes, Planta, Vegetal, plants)
SubkingdomViridiplantae (green plants)
InfrakingdomStreptophyta (land plants)
SuperdivisionEmbryophyta 
DivisionTracheophyta (vascular plants, tracheophytes)
SubdivisionSpermatophytina (spermatophytes, seed plants, phanérogames)
ClassMagnoliopsida 
SuperorderCaryophyllanae 
OrderCaryophyllales 
FamilyCaryophyllaceae (pinks, cariophyllacées)
GenusSilene L. (silènes, campion, catchfly)
SpeciesSilene repens Patrin ex Pers. (creeping silene, pink campion)

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References and Further Reading

Guidebook

none

Classification and Taxonomy

Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). 2024. Silene repens. Available online: https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=20110. Accessed 12 April 2024.

Database of Vascular Plants of Canada (VASCAN). 2024. Silene repens. Available online: https://data.canadensys.net/vascan/taxon/4395. Accessed 12 April 2024

USDA, NRCS. 2024. The PLANTS Database (https://plants.usda.gov/home/plantProfile?symbol=SIRE3). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA. Accessed 12 April 2024.

Catalogue of Life. 2024. Silene repens. Available online: https://www.catalogueoflife.org/data/taxon/4XD26. Accessed 12 April 2024.

Uses

Native American Ethnobotany Database. Search results for “Silene”. Available online: https://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Silene. Accessed 12 April 2024.

Map and Distribution

Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). 2024. Silene repens. Available online: https://www.gbif.org/species/7569592. Accessed 12 April 2024.

Plants of the World Online. 2024. Silene repens. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Available online: https://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:158215-1. Accessed 12 April 2024.

NatureServe Explorer. 2024. Silene repens. Available online: https://explorer.natureserve.org/Taxon/ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.157104/Silene_repens. Accessed 12 April 2024.

Description and Information

Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2024. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Silene repens. Available online: http://floranorthamerica.org/Silene_repens. Accessed 12 April 2024.

University of Alaska Fairbanks. 2024. Ecological Atlas of Alaska. Silene repens. Available online: https://ecologicalatlas.uaf.edu/index.php/browse-plant-species/atlas-page/?nps_id=1878. Accessed 12 April 2024.

Hultén, E. (1968). Flora of Alaska and Neighboring Territories: A Manual of the Vascular Plants (1st ed.) (pg. 442). Stanford University Press.

University of British Columbia. 2024. E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia. Silene repens. Available online: https://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Silene%20repens. Accessed 12 April 2024.

 

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