Silene gallica L.

Windmill Pink
Caryophyllaceae (Pink Family)


Windmill pink is a decumbent to erect, simple or branched, glandular-pubescent and minutely bristly annual with stems that are 4" to 16" high.  The leaves are opposite and gradually reduced upwards, the basal oblanceolate to spatulate and obtuse-tipped and the upper cauline narrower with a mucronate tip.  The flowers are sessile or on short stems in a one-sided inflorescence with leafy bracts.  The 5-cleft calyx is urn-shaped to tubular, 1/4" to 3/8" long, glandular-hairy with 10 conspicuous ribs or nerves, and becoming somewhat inflated in age.  The five petals are clawed, entire or toothed, pinkish-lavender turning white and ± twisted, like the sails of a windmill.  There are also short, linear appendages affixed to the base of the petals.  There are ten stamens and three styles, all included.  The fruit is an ovoid, puberulent capsule about 5/16" long with gray, finely wrinkled seeds.  Windmill pink may be found in grasslands, fields and waste areas below 3000', and is a common weed in lawns and gardens, blooming from February to June.  It is a native of Europe.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Silene 2) gallica.
Pronunciation: sy-LEE-nee GAL-ik-a.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.


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