Indian pink is an erect, weak-stemmed, glandular-pubescent,
herbaceous perennial that grows 1'-3' tall from a fleshy taproot. The
leaves are opposite, linear-lanceolate, and 2" to 4" long,
the upper somewhat reduced. The flowers are terminal on the pedicels
of a panicle, the pedicels 3/4" to 1-1/2" long and finely
woolly, the flowers sometimes in clusters, and ascending to erect. The
calyx is 5-cleft and tubular to 3/4" long, and the corolla is comprised
of five scarlet petals each of which is deeply 4-cleft into linear lobes
and has two broad, toothed appendages, which together form a ±
raised ring around the inner part of the flower. There are ten
stamens only slightly longer than the petals, and a pistil with three
exserted style-branches. The fruit is an oblong to ovoid capsule
with reddish-brown seeds. Sometimes called fringed indian pink,
this species of Silene is common on grassy or brushy slopes and
shaded areas below 5000' in coastal sage scrub, chaparral and oak woodland,
ranging from Baja to central California and blooming from May to July.
The genus Silene is referred to collectively as catchfly
because of the stickiness of the herbage, which often traps insects.
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Silene
Pronunciation: sy-LEE-nee las-in-ee-AY-ta MAY-jor.
Click here for Botanical