Silene undulata Aiton

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Silene undulata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nyanga National Park, Rhodes Dam, near Main Office.

Silene undulata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Valley upstream from Small Bridge Dam

Silene undulata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Silver Mist cottage, near Troutbeck

Silene undulata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Silver Mist cottage, near Troutbeck

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Melandrium undulatum (Aiton) Rohrb.
Silene capensis Otth
Common names: Gunpowder plant (English) Large-flowered campion (English)
Frequency: Occasional
Status: Native
Sticky glandular perennial herb, up to 60 cm. Leaves in a basal rosette, spathulate-oblong, up to 15 cm; leaves along the stem much smaller, oblong-lanceolate; margins entire but undulate. Flowers in lax terminal few-flowered inflorescences. Calyx cylindric, tubular, ribbed with dark, glandular veins. Petals white, cream or pinkish deeply lobed. Flowers are mostly seen with the petals rolled inwards (see photo). Capsule oblong-ovoid, horny, opening by recurved valves.
Derivation of specific name: undulata: undulate, wavy
Habitat: In open woodland and grassland, usually in areas with higher rainfall.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Oct - Apr
Worldwide distribution: Zimbabwe and Mpumalanga, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Thursday 23 July 2015

Fabian, A. & Germishuizen, G. (1997). Wild Flowers of Northern South Africa. Fernwood Press, Vlaeburg. Pages 136 - 137. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 32.

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Pages 138 - 139. (Includes a picture).

Wild, H. (1960-1). Caryophyllaceae Flora Zambesiaca 1(2) Pages 354 - 355. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Silene undulata:

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Silene undulata
African Plant Database: Silene undulata
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Silene undulata
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Silene undulata
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Silene undulata
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Silene undulata
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Silene undulata
JSTOR Plant Science: Silene undulata
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Silene undulata
Plants of the World Online: Silene undulata
Tropicos: Silene undulata
Wikipedia: Silene undulata

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Silene undulata., retrieved 22 June 2024

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