An Amateur Naturalist in Greece Posts the first Silene integripetala plant to iNaturalist - Observation of the Week 3/27/20

Our Observation of the Week is the first Silene integripetala plant posted to iNaturalist, by @katerinakalogerini in Greece!

Katerina Kalogerini resides in a small seaside town in southeastern Peloponnese, a region of Greece, where she teaches history and the Greek language, and tells me “I have been in love with animals and nature for all my life.

As a little girl I used to enjoy walks with my father in nature. He would stop from time to time to show me a bird on a tree (he used to love birds!), a turtle, a plant or a flower and every time it was a pure joy for me to discover a piece of the beauty of nature with his help. We both used to love the sea also, so during summer we were looking for fish, crabs, etc. while snorkeling together. He wanted to show me as many species as possible. Maybe the most beautiful memories of my childhood…

She came across her first Silene integripetala three years ago, and says “I found it so beautiful that l was determined to find out its name. After hours of searching on the internet l discovered it on www.greekflora.gr. The joy was even greater when l read that the flower is endemic of southern Peloponnese, where I live.” The plant you see photographed throughout this post was observed a few weeks ago while Katerina looked for orchids, and she says “It was the first integripetala of the year for me! When I found out there were no observations of the flower on iNaturalist, I decided to make this the first one.”

Plants in the genus Silene are known commonly as catchflies and campions in English, and according to Intermountain Flora (vol. 2A, p. 447. 2012)

Internodal bands on some Silene stems exude a sticky sap that may trap small insects, thus the common name “catchfly.” The plant cannot utilize nutrients from these trapped insects and is therefore not carnivorous. The function may be to prevent crawling insects from reaching the flowers.

Catchflies are cosmopolitan, but are more abundant in the northern hemisphere, and the genus contains around 700 species. 

Perhaps hearkening back to her childhood, Kateria (above, on Cyprus) still calls snorkeling and walking through nature among her favorite experiences, and says “I am fascinated every time l find a new species to me!” She uses iNaturalist to get identification help, and has some ambitions for it:

I want to post as many species of my area as possible. My town, Neapoli Lakonias, is located at the southeastern end of continental Europe and there are quite a few endemic species here, mostly plants, some of which I hope to find and post on iNaturalist one day.

By Tony Iwane. Some quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and flow. Thanks to @jdmore for the quote from Intermountain Flora.


- There are nearly 40,000 Silene observations on iNaturalist, so why not take a look at them?

- Silene is part of the Caryophyllaceae (pinks/carnations) family, and iNat data from Caryophyllaceae was used in this study of anther-smut records.

- And really, who can forget Marty Robbins’ classic song of heartbreak involving a pink carnation?

Posted by tiwane tiwane, March 27, 2020 21:06

Comments

well done Katerina !!

Posted by konstantinospatsakis over 1 year ago (Flag)

I agree, the flower is gorgeous! Thank you for posting it!

Posted by susanhewitt over 1 year ago (Flag)

Bravo! I hope to see that in Greece someday!

Posted by yan_tonz over 1 year ago (Flag)

Wow!

Posted by jmaughn over 1 year ago (Flag)

Awesome, great find!

Posted by tkoffel over 1 year ago (Flag)

Love this genus and this photo! Hope to see it myself someday. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by mira_l_b over 1 year ago (Flag)

Awesome work Katerina! My family is from Sparta in the Peleponnese so many amazing places in that penisula!

Posted by bbiocons over 1 year ago (Flag)

You are so awesome Katerina...Thank you so much for sharing your love of nature and animals here..I too am in love with animals and nature and your words are so inspiring to continue..Stay safe and healthy..Thank you..Sheila

Posted by sheilsun over 1 year ago (Flag)

So lovely! I would love to go back to Greece one day and see that incredible flower! :)

Posted by paulabetz over 1 year ago (Flag)

Thank you for your beautiful contribution!

Posted by mertensia over 1 year ago (Flag)

Gorgeous!

Posted by ocean_beach_goth over 1 year ago (Flag)

Beautiful :)

Posted by carolr over 1 year ago (Flag)

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