Armchair botanizing for Extreme Silene

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Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14
Armchair botanizing for Extreme Silene

One of my favorite sites for armchair botanizing is CalPhotos:
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/
Type in a genus name and go exploring. So I did this with Silene, and there are some amazing species out there, why aren't these being grown?!? Here are some of my favorite EXTREME Silene species.

Silene serpentinicola (Serpentine Catchfly)
This is a California endemic, found in Del Norte Co. Amazing dwarf red-flowered species.
http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/communities/serpentines/center/images/s...
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/img_query?rel-taxon=contains&where...

Silene salmonacea (Klamath Mountain catchfly)
This is a California endemic, found in Trinity Co, looks akin to S. hookeri, but look at those luscious orange colors in the 2nd and 3rd link below.
http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/communities/serpentines/center/images/r...
http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-calrecnum=9477
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/img_query?rel-taxon=contains&where...

And while you're along for the ride, take a drive down Silene hookeri street.
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?where-genre=Plant&where-taxo...

Silene campanulata var. glandulosa, Calusa Co, California
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=photos_index&enlar...

Silene parishii (Los Angeles Co, California)
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=photos_index&enlar...
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=photos_index&enlar...

Silene suksdorfii (Pierce Co, Washington)
This one I fell in love with when seeing it on Burroughs Mountain, a spur off Mr. Rainier in Washington, with brightly veined pouchy flowers. Tried growing it from the NARGS seed exchange a couple times, grew tiny plants for a few years each time but eventutally lost them. Worth trying again.
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=photos_index&enlar...

And lastly, I didn't include the photo links to S. californica, but judging from the CalPhotos images, there are some good dwarf forms of this otherwise tallish flame red species. You can go look.

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

McDonough wrote:

there are some amazing species out there, why aren't these being grown?!?  

Well, if anyone is looking for volunteers, they can just send me the plants!  ;)  I'd love to give them a try!

I'm especially taken by Silene suksdorfii - beautiful.
I did try some sort of a dwarf form of Silene californica... unfortunately at a time when I knew even less about growing alpines than I do now.  (Poor thing - RIP.)

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

I was "googling" today and just happened to be referred to a page on the old SRGC Forum (Scottish Rock Garden Club) looking for plants other than Silene, but I came across the following photos of Silene hookeri and S. hookeri ssp. bolanderi cultivated expertly by SRGC member John Forrest... take a look at these beauties:

Silene hookeri ssp ingramii
http://www.srgc.org.uk/discus/messages/283/12091.jpg

Silene hookeri ssp ingramii - another form
http://www.srgc.org.uk/discus/messages/283/12092.jpg

Silene hookeri ssp hookeri - salmon form
http://www.srgc.org.uk/discus/messages/283/12093.jpg

Silene hookeri ssp bolanderi
http://www.srgc.org.uk/discus/messages/283/12094.jpg
http://www.srgc.org.uk/discus/messages/283/12095.jpg

Silene hookeri ssp bolanderi, seed grown with a buff colored flower
http://www.srgc.org.uk/discus/messages/283/12096.jpg

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I prefere a sofa where I can relax my feet too!

I know I probably can't grow such plants outside but I would like to see them in situ!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Close-up of Silene variegata, a dwarf succulent-leaved species from Crete, from the Flickr photo galleries of Nick Turland.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nturland/1363389276/

Updated: an even better set of photos from "Visit West Crete" site.
This species takes the prize for one of the most desirable small rock garden Silene ever!
http://www.west-crete.com/flowers/silene_variegata.htm

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Lots of cool species! the Cretan species is pretty amazing  :o but so is the serpenticola, with both a great red and somewhat inflated calyces --one of my favourite features in this genus-- (I actually really like the flowers of our local weed sp, its just a bit too successful as a weed!)..
salmonacea has a great colour range too, can't see if it has inflated calyces or not..

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

On the subject of "extreme" silene, here are a couple others that I like:
1) Silene davidii (the former or syn. S. kantzeensis, and still sold under that name)

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=3&taxon_id=242000737

2) Silene falcata - this one is native to Turkey.  I like the red buds, particularly.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

These are both excellent! The first is just really cute, the second I like since I perversely like those species which remind me of our weeds, but which are small! I like the foliage on both too, but esp those little wispy tufts

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Lori, I second Cohan's message, both Silene species are AWESOME!  I just spent about an hour looking through the Flora of China link on S. davidii, what an excellent species... did you see the really dark pink one?  Such a neat growing species, and from the super long list of species in China, I suspect there are many other worthwhile species, some will hopefully make their way into cultivation.

Love everything I see with S. falcata, from the neat "wispy" asperula-like foliage, to the elongated red buds and the pristine white blooms.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Yes, the dark pink one (the 6th S. davidii photo at the Flora of China site; photo by R. Lee) is stunning!
The foliage on the plant in the first photo is significantly different from the rest of the photos; different subspecies or...?

Yeah, the foliage on Silene falcata is great too!  It does seem to represent the extreme, as compared to the fairly broad-leaved North American species.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Skulski wrote:

Yes, the dark pink one (the 6th S. davidii photo at the Flora of China site; photo by R. Lee) is stunning!
The foliage on the plant in the first photo is significantly different from the rest of the photos; different subspecies or...?

The Flora of China folks have been adding photos to the flora, often taken by different people.  I have noticed a number of mistaken IDs in those photos, particularly in genera I have a better understanding of (Allium for example).  I see what you're saying, the foliage in the first photo link looks much more linear... probably a subspecies or a different species altogether.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

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