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Heliosperma pusillum.jpg
Heliosperma pusillum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Tribe: Sileneae
Genus: Heliosperma
Synonyms [1]
  • Ixoca Raf.
  • Silene sect. Heliosperma Rchb.

Heliosperma is a genus of around flowering plants in the tribe Sileneae of the family Caryophyllaceae.[2] As such, it is closely related to the large genus Silene, but its members can be told apart from Silene by the crest of long papillae on the seeds.[1] The majority of the species are narrow endemics from the Balkan Peninsula, but H. alpestre is endemic to the Eastern Alps, and H. pusillum is found from the Cordillera Cantábrica in northern Spain to the Carpathians.[3] Like members of the genus Silene and other related genera, Heliosperma is attacked by species of the anther smut fungus Microbotryum.[4]


Around 15 species are currently recognised in the genus:[5]


  1. ^ a b Božo Frajman; Richard K. Rabeler (2006). "Proposal to conserve the name Heliosperma against Ixoca (Caryophyllaceae, Sileneae)" (PDF). Taxon. 55 (3): 801–808. doi:10.2307/25065663. 
  2. ^ Božo Frajman; Frida Eggens; Bengt Oxelman (2009). "Hybrid origins and homoploid reticulate evolution within Heliosperma (Sileneae, Caryophyllaceae) – a multigene phylogenetic approach with relative dating". Systematic Biology. 58 (3): 328–345. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syp030. 
  3. ^ Božo Frajman (2007). Taxonomy and reticulate phylogeny of Heliosperma and related genera (Sileneae, Caryophyllaceae) (PDF) (Ph.D. thesis). Uppsala University. ISBN 978-91-554-6946-7. 
  4. ^ Marcin Piątek; Matthias Lutz; Anna Ronikier; Martin Kemler; Urszula Świderska-Burek (2012). "Microbotryum heliospermae, a new anther smut fungus parasitic on Heliosperma pusillum in the mountains of the European Alpine System". Fungal Biology. 116 (2): 185–195. doi:10.1016/j.funbio.2011.10.011. 
  5. ^ Božo Frajman; Bengt Oxelman (2007). "Reticulate phylogenetics and phytogeographical structure of Heliosperma (Sileneae, Caryophyllaceae) inferred from chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequences" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 43 (1): 140–155. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.11.003. PMID 17188521. 

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