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Silene vulgaris

Taxonomy and Distribution

Silene vulgaris is a member of the carnation or pink family (Caryophyllaceae). It is the most well known representative of a group of closely related Silene species referred to as the bladder campions. It is native to Eurasia, where it is geographically widespread. It has also been introduced all over the world. Thriving in distributed habitats such as roadsides, it has become invasive in a number of regions including North America.

Life History and Breeding System

Silene vulgaris is an herbaceous short-lived perennial. It is gynodioecious, meaning that its populations consist of a mixture of hermaphroditic and female (i.e., male-sterile) individuals. Gender is determined by a genetic interaction between the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes.

Scientific Interest

A number of species in the genus Silene have become widely used as models in the fields of ecology and evolution. In particular, Silene vulgaris has been utilized in studies of breeding system evolution, mitochondrial genomics, biological invasions, host-pathogen interactions, and heavy metal tolerance.