Himalayan Campion
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Himalayan Campion
ative Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Himalayan Campion
Botanical name: Silene himalayensis    Family: Caryophyllaceae (Carnation family)
Synonyms: Lychnis himalayensis, Silene madens, Silene gonosperma var. himalayensis

Himalayan Campion is a pernneial plant 15-33 cm tall with glandular-velvety parts. Stem is solitary slender, arising from the stock. Leaves are basally congested, few on the flowering stem, 2-5 cm x 5-13 mm. Leaves at the base are inverted-lanceshaped to lanceshaped or obovate-spoon-shaped, stem ones lanceshaped, stalkless, glandular. Flowers are 1-2, rarely 3, looking down. Flower-stalks are densely glandular hairy. Sepal cup is 1.1-1.5 cm long, inflated, bell-shaped, teeth broadly triangular-obtuse with a glandular-ciliate margin, prominent, dark purple or purplish-green, densely glandular or sparsely so. Petal are rose lavender to brownish-purple, barely exceeding the sepal-tube, 1.3-1.6 cm long, limb bilobed. Coronal scales are 2, blunt, each obscurely 2-3 lobed. Claw is 8-10 mm long, eared. Carpophore, if present, are very and densely velvety. Seeds are compressed or angular; variable in breadth from 0.8-1.5 mm, winged; the wing sometimes very reduced, yellow brown to brown. Himalayan Campion is found in C. Asia, Himalayas, from Afghanistan to W. Tibet, W. China, at altitudes of 2000--5000 m. Flowering: June-July.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
Photographed in Apharwat, Kashmir.
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