Silene section Arenosae Eggens, F.Jafari & Oxelman, sect. nov.

Eggens, Frida, Jafari, Farzaneh, Thollesson, Mikael, Crameri, Simon, Zarre, Shahin & Oxelman, Bengt, 2020, Phylogeny and species delimitation in Silene sect. Arenosae (Caryophyllaceae): a new section, PhytoKeys 159, pp. 1-34 : 1

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Silene section Arenosae Eggens, F.Jafari & Oxelman, sect. nov.


Silene section Arenosae Eggens, F.Jafari & Oxelman, sect. nov.


Silene arenosa K. Koch.


Annuals. Stems erect or ascending, 5-70 cm, often pubescent at least below, internodes often with sessile glands on upper part. Basal leaves lanceolate to oblanceolate, ± covered with unicellular trichomes; cauline leaves linear, lanceolate or oblanceolate, pubescent. Inflorescence an apical, uneven dichasium with long internodes, several later axillary inflorescences from upper stem nodes usually present. Flowers usually nocturnal (e.g. S. austroiranica , S. linearis ), rarely diurnal ( S. exsudans Boiss. & Heldr., S. leyseroides , S. microsperma subsp. cypria Eggens, F.Jafari & Oxelman, nom nov.). Calyx teeth often with distinct mucro, heteromorphic with three longer, often acute, narrowly lanceolate teeth with a narrow transparent margin, the other two teeth shorter, slightly broader, rounded and with a broad transparent margin; margin usually densely ciliate. Primary calyx veins mostly green (or reddish when exposed), often raised; secondary veins obscure; area between veins whitish. Styles 3. Petal limb upper surfaces white or pink. Capsule ellipsoid, oblong or obovate. Seeds reniform, hilum sunken, side flat, with a dorsal groove, testa smooth or papillate.

Distribution and habitat.

SW Asian, from South Mediterranean Turkey to Armenia southward to Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula and eastward to Pakistan (Fig. 7 View Figure 7 ). Most taxa have rather limited distributions, except S. chaetodonta and S. leyseroides that are found from South-Central Turkey to Afghanistan and from Iraq to Pakistan, respectively. All species grow in dry sandy or gravelly habitats.


Melzheimer (1988) considers S. rhadinocalyx Stapf [in Akad. Wiss. Wien, Math.-Naturwiss. Kl., Denkschr. 51: 352 (1886)] to belong to this group, but examination of the type led us to conclude that this taxon is closer to either of the SW Anatolian species S. cariensis Boiss. or S. vittata Stapf.