Caryophyllaceae Juss. (The Pink or Carnation Family) 39 species from the Caryophyllaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.
English name(s) :
Bladder Campion, Bird's Egg, Maiden's Tears
Maltese name(s) :
Status for Malta :
Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man
Very Common Common Frequent Scarce Rare Very rare Extinct
Growth form :
Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: HEMICRYPTOPHYTE ( prostate plants with flowers close to the ground )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon
Legal Protection :
Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)
Red List (1989) :
Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands
Flowering Time :
January – May
Colour of Flowers:
Not particularly toxic
Name Derivation :
Silene: "probably from the Greek ""sialon"" (=saliva) referring to the viscous excretion of several species. Another derivation could come from the name Silenus, the intoxicated foster-father of Bacchus (god of wine) who was covered with foam, much like the glandular secretions of many species of this genus". (Greek origin )
Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Preferred habitat in Malta:
Lanes along countryside, walls, cultivated and fallow land, and valley sides.
Perennial, sometimes caespitose and woody at base; stems up to 60 cm, erect, usually branched, glabrous or pubescent, often glaucous. Leaves up to 12 cm, variable in shape from broadly ovate to linear. Inflorescence with numerous flowers; bracts usually scarious. Flowers inclined, somewhat zygomorphic (especially the functionally female ones). Calyx 20-veined, inflated, persistent, loosely investing ripe capsule. Petals large, deeply bifid, usually whitish, with poorly-developed coronal scales. Ripe capsule up to 13 mm, with neck 2-3 mm wide and erect or patent teeth. Seeds 1-2 mm, usually tuberculate.
Throughout Europe except for some northern islands
Distributional map in Europe and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe. (from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
All Europe except Faroe Islands, Iceland, Svalbard archipelago
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region. (from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019) Country codes
AE(G) Ag Al Ar Au(A) Az Be Bl(I M N) Br Bu dCa(C F G H L P T) Co Cr Ct Cy Da Eg Es Fe Ga(F) Ge Gr Hb(E) He Ho Hs(A S) Hu IJ It La Li LS Lt Lu Ma Md(D M P) Mk No Po Rm Sa Si(M S) Sk Sl Su Tn Tu(A E) Uk(K) [Az(C L M P)]
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