Silene velutina

Family: Cryophyllaceae
Local name:
Silene vellutata

Description: Silene velutina Loisel. is a perennial herbaceous plant, endemic to Sardinia, with a quite dense panicle inflorescence, consisting of many flowers sustained by short peduncles, up to 2.5 cm long. Their delicate light-red petals are bifid. The calyx is almost cylindrical and adorned by multiple purple-red veins. Seeds are numerous, rough, dark and kidney-shaped. 

Protection: Endangered species. IUCN Level: NT - This plant is protected on a national level. 

Etymology: Silene [Caryophyllaceae] - devoted to Σειληνός Seilenós, Sileno (Latin version: Silenus), adoptive father and partner of Bacchus, according to mythology. Represented as a human being, sometimes with a horse’s ears, tail and hooves, and wearing foam. This might be an allusion to the viscous secretion covering different specimens of velutina. Meaning: velvety; Modern Latin / scientific name: ve(l)lutum, derived from French: velu (velvet in English): Abutilon, Acacia, Aconitum, Adiantum, Alchemilla, Astragalus, Calceolaria, Campanula, Desmanthus, Draba, Fraxinus, Hieracium/ Pilosella, Lantana, Machilus, Matelea, Opuntia, Persea, Plantago, Potentilla, Ranunculus, Rosa, Rubus, Senecio, Silene, Trigonella ecc. ecc. – Thelidium, Verrucaria > presenting a velvet-like garment or clothing.


Texts: National Park, with the collaboration of Associazione G.Cesaraccio - ProNatura APS
Pictures: Tommaso Gamboni (Ass.G.Cesaraccio - ProNatura APS)


Bibliographic sources:
Flora dell’Arcipelago di La Maddalena. G. Cesaraccio. Ed. Sorba.

Portale della flora d’Italia.
Acta plantarum.
Altervista botanica.
Flora di Sardegna.