West-Himalayan Campion
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West-Himalayan Campion
ative Photo: Krishan Lal
Common name: West-Himalayan Campion
Botanical name: Silene falconeriana    Family: Caryophyllaceae (Carnation family)

West-Himalayan Campion is a biennial or perennial herb, up to 50 cm tall. It is named for Hugh Falconer, 19th century Scottish doctor, geologist and botanist in India. Stems are more or less leafy, thick, simple or branched, velvety below, hairless above. Leaves are 2-5 cm long, 2-7 mm wide, inverted-lanceshaped to linear-lanceshaped to linear, tip pointed, base narrow, velvety or hairless. Bracts are linear, pointed. Flowers are borne in panicles, the lateral branches ending in lax or congested cymes. Flower-stalks are usually hairless. Sepal-tube is 8-10 mm, cylindrical, narrow at the base, club-shaped and constricted below the capsule, in fruit hairless. Teeth are triangular, blunt with ciliate margins. Nerves are brownish, prominent. Petals are greenish-yellow to reddish-brown, white, limb about 5 mm, spoon-shaped not lobed. Coronal scales are absent. Capsule is about 8 mm, ovoid, barely peeping out from the sepal tube. West-Himalayan Campion is found in W. Himalaya, from Kashmir to Nepal, at altitudes up to 2500 m. Flowering: July-August.

Identification credit: Krishan Lal Photographed in Sirmaur Distt, Himachal Pradesh & Lansdowne, Uttrakhand.

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