Silene wrightii (Wright's campion)

Silene wrightii (Wright's campion)

Photograph by Russ Kleinman, Gene Jercinovic and Patrick Alexander, WNMU Dept. of Natural Sciences and the Dale A. Zimmerman Herbarium at www.gilaflora.com (2010)
Family
CARYOPHYLLACEAE
Scientific Name with Author
Silene wrightii A. Gray
Synonyms
NONE
Common Name
Wright's campion
Rare Plant Conservation Scorecard Summary
Overall Conservation Status Documented Threats Actions Needed
WEAKLY CONSERVED

No Information

document rarity


Description
Perennial; stems several from woody, thickened crown and short rootstock, 1-3 dm tall, simple or branched, more or less decumbent at base, densely pubescent and glandular throughout; leaves (2)3-6 cm long, 4-14 mm wide; stem leaves very numerous, the upper lanceolate to elliptic, sessile; lower leaves petioled to subsessile and oblanceolate; flowers few, 1 or 2(3) per node; upper flowers on pedicels 5-30 mm long (longer pedicels often bracteate); lower flowers often at tips of elongate axillary branches bearing 1-5 pairs of slightly reduced leaves; calyx (12)16-20 mm long, tubular, glandular-pilose, teeth acuminate, 4-6 mm long; corolla whitish, claws much exserted, 8-13 mm long, broadened above but without auricles, blades much broadened, 5-8 mm long, sometimes bilobed 1/3-1/2 their length, 2 main lobes each laciniately 3-4-lobed or cleft into pointed appendages; carpophore (stipe below ovary) 3-6 mm long, glabrous or very minutely puberulent; stamens about equal to calyx; styles 3, included; fruit a capsule. Flowers mid July to October.
Similar Species
Silene wrightii is most similar to S. scouleri, a much more common and widespread plant composed of several subspecies and varieties. However, S. wrightii is glandular throughout, has shorter stems, and smaller leaves than S. scouleri, which is glandular in the inflorescence only, has longer stems (2-7 dm), and larger leaves (7-15[25] cm long).
Distribution
New Mexico, Catron, Grant, Luna, Sierra, and Socorro counties.
Habitat
Cliffs and rocky outcrops in Rocky Mountain montane and subalpine conifer forests; about 2,070-2,440 m (6,800-8,000 ft).
Remarks
This plant was once thought to be very rare when the only known collections were those of Wright in 1851 and Metcalfe in 1903. Several additional populations have recently been found in five southwestern New Mexico counties.
Conservation Considerations
Current land uses apparently pose no threat to this species. Its cliff habitat offers considerable protection.
Important Literature

*New Mexico Native Plants Protection Advisory Committee. 1984. A handbook of rare and endemic plants of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

*Hitchcock, C.L. and B. Maguire. 1947. A revision of the North American species of Silene. University of Washington Publications in Biology 13.

Information Compiled By
David Bleakly 1999

For distribution maps and more information, visit Natural Heritage New Mexico