Silene chalcedonica (L.) E.H.L. Krause (redirected from: Lychnis chalcedonica)
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Maltesecross
[Lychnis chalcedonica L.]
Silene chalcedonica image
Plants perennial, coarse, rhizomatous; rhizome branched, stout. Stems erect, few-branched, 50-100 cm, hispid. Leaves rounded into tightly sessile base; blade lanceolate to ovate, 5-12 cm × 20-60 mm, apex acute, sparsely scabrous-pubescent on both surfaces, scabrous-ciliate on abaxial margins and midrib; basal leaf blades broadly spatulate. Inflorescences subcapitate between terminal pair of leaves, 10-50-flowered, congested, bracteate; bracts lanceolate, herbaceous, ciliate. Flowers sessile to subsessile, 10-16 mm diam.; calyx 10-veined, narrow and tubular in flower, clavate in fruit, 12-17 mm, margins dentate, lobes triangular-lanceolate, 2.5-2.5 mm, coarsely hirsute; petals scarlet, sometimes white or pink, clawed, claw equaling calyx, limb spreading, obovate, deeply 2-lobed, 6-11 mm, shorter than calyx, appendages tubular, 2-3 mm; stamens equaling calyx; stigmas 5, equaling calyx. Capsules ovoid, 8-10 mm, opening by 5 teeth; carpophore 4-6 mm. Seeds dark reddish brown, reniform-rotund, 0.7-1 mm diam., coarsely papillate; papillae ca. as high as wide. 2n = 24 (Europe). Flowering summer. Roadsides, waste places, open woodlands; 0-300 m; introduced; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask.; Conn., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Maine, Mass., Mich., Minn., N.H., N.J., N.Y., Pa., Vt., Wis.; Europe. Silene chalcedonica is widely cultivated but rarely escapes and probably does not persist.

Perennial herb 30 cm - 1 m tall Stem: upright, unbranched (rarely branched), and hairy. Leaves: (stem) opposite, ten- to twenty- paired, 5 - 12 cm long, 2 - 5 cm wide, lance-shaped to egg- lance-shaped with a pointed tip, small-toothed, sometimes sparsely hairy. Basal leaves spatula- to lance-shaped. Inflorescence: a terminal, dense, head-like cluster (dichasium) of ten to fifty flowers. Flowers: short-stalked, orangish red, 1.5 - 2 cm wide. Stamens ten. Styles five. Sepals: forming a cylindrical tube (calyx). Calyx 1 - 1.7 cm long, 10-veined, sparsely hairy on veins, with five short teeth. Petals: five, orangish red, 7 - 9 mm long, broadly reverse egg-shaped, narrowly clawed, deeply two-lobed. Fruit: a dehiscent capsule (opening by five teeth), 8 - 10 mm long, egg-shaped. Seeds numerous, dark reddish brown, about 1 mm long, triangular to kidney-shaped.

Similar species: The similar Lychnis coronaria differs by having woolly herbage.

Flowering: June to September

Habitat and ecology: Introduced from Eurasia. Sometimes grown as an ornamental. A rare escape from cultivation. Has been found growing in a mesic area.

Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native

Etymology: Lychnis comes from the Greek word lychnos, meaning lamp, referring to the flame colored flowers. Chalcedonica means "of or from Chalcedon, Turkey (now called Kadikoy)."

Author: The Morton Arboretum

Perennial, 3-6 dm; stem hirsute; basal lvs spatulate or oblanceolate to lanceolate; cauline lvs 10-20 pairs, lanceolate or lance-ovate, 5-12 נ2-5 cm, acute, sparsely hairy or glabrate, serrulate-ciliate; infl terminal, ±capitate; fls numerous, red (white); cal 12-17 mm at maturity, the 10 coarse ribs strigose-hirsute, the lobes 2.5-3.5 mm; pet 14-18 mm, the claw ciliate, the appendages tubular, 2-3 mm, the blade 7-9 mm, deeply bilobed; ovary on a stipe 4-6 mm; fr 1 cm; 2n=24, 48. Native of Asia, occasionally escaped from cult. in our range. June-Sept.

Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.

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