Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Silene involucrata (Cham. and Schltdl.) Bocquet

English: Arctic campion, arctic catchfly,

French: Silène involucré,

Inuktitut: Nakasuujait.

Caryophyllaceae, Pink family.

Published in Candollea 22: 22. 1967.

Type: Siberia, 'Kamt.' [= Kamtchatka], leg. Red[owsky] (Chamisso scripsit). Holotype: B. according to Bocquet (1967), Candollea 22: 22. The type was collected between Irkutsk and Ochotsk, not in Kamtchatka, as Redowsky died before he reached Kamtchatka.

Synonymy. Lychnis apetala L. var. (gamma) involucrata Cham. and Schltdl., Linnaea 1: 43. 1826.

Gastrolychnis involucrata (Cham. and Schltdl.) Rupr., Fl. Samojed. Cisural. 24. 1845.

Melandrium involucratum (Cham. and Schltdl.) Rohrb., Linnaea 36: 216. 1869–1870.

Silene furcata Raf., Autik. Bot. 28. 1840.

Lychnis furcata (Raf.) Fernald, Rhodora 34: 22. 1932.

Melandrium furcatum (Raf.) Hultén, Acta Univ. Lund., n. s., sect. 2, 40, 1: 702. 1944 (printing date not given, but probably early 1944) or: (Raf.) Hadač, Skr. Svalbard Nordishavet 87: 34. 1944 (printed 04.05.1944).

Gastrolychnis furcata (Raf.) Hultén, nom. illegit., Acta Univ. Lund., n. s., sect. 2, 40, 1: 702 (1944, as synonym).

Silene involucrata (Cham. and Schltdl.) Bocquet subsp. furcata (Raf.) V.V.Petrovsky and Elven ined.

Gastrolychnis affinis auct., non (J.Vahl ex Fr.) Tolm. and Kozhanch., in Tolm., Fl. Arct. URSS 6: 111. 1971.

Vegetative morphology. Plants 5–30 cm high; perennial herbs; caespitose. Taproot present. Ground level or underground stems absent. Caudex present. Aerial stems erect. Aerial stem trichomes spreading, or erect (hairs with red cross-walls). Leaves mainly basal; opposite; marcescent. Petioles absent. Leaf blade bases attenuate. Blades 15–35(–60) mm long, 4–5(–10) mm wide, spreading, oblanceolate or spatulate, flat, appearing single-veined. Blade adaxial surface dull, glabrous or hairy (hairs mainly on the leaf margins), hairs pilose or strigose (if applicable), hairs simple (mainly non-glandular). Blade abaxial surface glabrous or hairy, hairs pilose or strigose (mainly on the underside veins), hairs sparse, hairs white. Blade margins with non-glandular hairs; apices acute.

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems with leaves (usually 2–3 pairs of opposite lanceolate leaves). Flowering stems hairy. Flowering stems villous. Flowering stem hairs simple; white or translucent and transparent with red cross-walls; glandular hairs present (sometimes viscid). Flowers in inflorescences (usually), or solitary. Inflorescences with flowers in a dichasium (usually of 3 erect flowers on short, erect peduncles that rapidly elongate towards maturity). Flowers per inflorescence 1–3; medium-sized. Sepals conventional; 5; fused; 10–15(–20) mm wide; green and purple; membranous with prominent ribs (ribs purple, sinuses between ribs pale green or cream); accrescent. Calyx ovoid, or bell-shaped; 5-lobed; hairy (rarely almost glabrous). Calyx hairs pilose, or villous; glandular and non-glandular; transparent with red cross-walls (especially on the ribs). Calyx teeth equal or nearly so; 1.2–2.5 mm long. Petals conventional; free; longer than the calyx; 5; white (milky); obovate, or oblanceolate; deeply cleft; 15–20(–25) mm long (much exserted). Stamens present; 10 (not longer than the calyx); stamen filaments glabrous. Anthers yellow; ellipsoid; 0.8–1.1 mm long. Ovary superior; carpels 5; syncarpous. Ovaries oblong; glabrous. Styles 5; free; 1–2 mm long (not longer than the calyx). Stigmas per ovary 1. Placentation free central. Ovules per ovary 40–60. Fruit with calyx persisting; dry; a capsule; oblong; yellowish, or brown; 9–15 mm long; 5–7 mm wide; surface appearing veinless; dehiscent; opening with teeth at the top of the capsule; teeth 5 (recurved). Seeds numerous; 1.1–1.5 mm long (reniform to angular); brown; surfaces verrucose (with a narrow wing, less than 1/2 the width of the body).

Chromosome information. 2n = 48.

2n (4x)= 48. Jørgensen et al. (1958, Greenland); Zhukova (1965a, 1966, 1967a, Chukotka); Johnson and Packer (1968, northwestern Alaska); Zhukova and Tikhonova (1971, Chukotka); Zhukova and Petrovsky (1971, 1972, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1987b, northeastern Asia); Zhukova et al. (1973, 1977, northeastern Asia); Krogulevich (1976a, northern Siberia); Petrovsky and Zhukova (1981, Wrangel Island); Krogulevich and Rostovtseva (1984, northeastern Asia); Dalgaard (1989, western Greenland); Murray and Kelso (1997, western Alaska).

Ploidy levels recorded 4x.

Ecology and habitat. Substrates: along streams, river terraces, slopes, cliffs; imperfectly drained moist areas, dry, moderately well-drained areas; gravel, sand, clay; with low organic content, with high organic content; calcareous.

North American distribution. Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories Islands, continental Northwest Territories, Nunavut Islands, continental Nunavut, northern Quebec, Labrador. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago widespread. Common. Arctic. Arctic islands: Baffin, Devon, Ellesmere, Axel Heiberg, Parry islands (Bathurst and Melville), Cornwallis, Banks, Victoria, King William, Southampton (Vansittart islands).

Northern hemisphere distribution. Circumpolar. Svalbard – Franz Joseph Land, Polar Ural – Novaya Zemlya, Yamal–Gydan, Taimyr – Severnaya Zemlya, Anabar–Olenyok, Kharaulakh, Yana–Kolyma, West Chukotka, Wrangel Island, South Chukotka (?), East Chukotka, West Alaska, North Alaska – Yukon, Central Canada, Labrador – Hudson Bay, Ellesmere Land – Peary Land, West Greenland, East Greenland.

General notes. In the Flora of North America treatment (Morton 2005), the North American arctic island species are treated as S. involucrata subsp. involucrata. Elven et al. (2003, 2005) suggest that the major northern arctic circumpolar entity within the very variable S. involucrata complex should be recognised as subsp. furcata (Raf.) (comb. nov. needed), characterised by sturdy flowering stems, which are densely tufted; several (usually 3) erect flowers; calyx campanulate to ovoid; petals white (or pink) and much exserted; seeds narrow-winged or unwinged and .

Within the S. involucrata complex, two other taxa are distributed within the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: S. sorensenis and S. ostenfeldii. These taxa are related to S. involucrata but are higher polyploids (possibly alloploids involving S. involucrata) and have much more limited distributions.

Illustrations. • Close-up of plant. Inflorescence a dichasium often consisting of three erect flowers. The leaves are mainly in a basal tuft and the stem leaves are opposite. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Iqaluit. 21 July, 1982. J.M. Gillett 18982. • Close-up of plant. Petals milky white and much exserted. Note the fused calyx that is campanulate to ovoid with 10 dark purple veins. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Iqaluit. 26 July, 1982. J.M. Gillett 19056. • Close-up of inflorescence. Petals milky white that are much exserted. Note the fused calyx, that is campanulate to ovoid, with 10 dark purple veins. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Iqaluit. 21 July, 1982. J.M. Gillett 18982. • Close-up of flowers. Late flowering stage with an inflated calyx and white, well-emergent petals. Norway, Svalbard, Sabine Land, Noisdalen Valley. 6 August, 1987. Photograph by R. Elven. Voucher at 0. • Close-up of calyx in fruit. Strongly inflated and pigmented calyces enclose the capsule. The dark pigmentation occurs in the fruiting stage (but not in the flowering stage). It may increase temperatures and enhance the seed maturation. Norway, Svalbard, Dickson Land, Odindalen Valley. August, 1996. Photograph by R. Elven. Voucher at 0. • Arctic Island Distribution.


This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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