by Stephen Mifsud
   13 Jun 2024      ()
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Silene colorata   (Pink Pirouette)

Silene colorata  (CARYOPHYLLACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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General Information Species Images
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Detailed species profile
Caryophyllaceae Index Plant Family Index
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Profile Date Mar-2003 (taxon update: Mar-2003)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Silene colorata - datasheet created on Mar-2003. Retrieved from on 13-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Silene colorataPoir.
Published in Voy. Barb. 2: 163 (1789)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Silene bipartita Desf.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Caryophyllaceae Juss. (The Pink or Carnation Family)
39 species from the Caryophyllaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Pink Pirouette, Dwarf Pink Star, Mediterranean Catchfly

Maltese name(s) :

Ilsien l-għasfur, Sieq iz-Zakak

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent    Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: THEROPHYTE ( annual plants, herbaceous )
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 :

December – May

Colour of Flowers:

Pink or Violet


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 )
colorata: having a bright colour with reference to the deep magenta-purple colour of the flowers. (Latin origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Rocky waysides, uncultivated fields, garigue with enough deep soil, traffic islands.
Botanical Description: Whole plant pubescent or puberulent. Stems 10-50 cm, decumbent to erect, branched. Leaves linear to ovate-spathulate. Pedicels shorter than calyx; bracts of a pair usually unequal. Calyx 11-13(-17) mm, cylindrical, becoming broadly clavate in fruit; teeth ovate, obtuse, densely ciliate. Petal-limb 5-9 mm, pink or white. Capsule 7-9 mm, ovoid; carpophore 5-7 mm. Seeds 1-1.5 mm, dark chestnut-brown.
Chromosome number: 2n=24
Distributional range: S. Europe

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Albania, Corse, Crete, Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), Portugal, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part)
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
? AE Ag Al Bu dCa(F L) dCo Cr Cy Eg Gr Hs(S) IJ It Li LS Lu Ma Sa Si(M S) Sn Tn Tu(A E)

Links & Further literature (2 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




A new species of Silene sect. Dipterosperma (Caryophyllaceae) from Malta Salvatore Brullo, Cristian Brullo, Salvatore Cambria, Edwin Lanfranco, Sandro Lanfranco, Pietro Minissale, Saverio Sciandrello And Gianpietro Giusso Del Galdo  (2012)
A new species of Silene sect. Dipterosperma (Caryophyllaceae) from Sicily Cristian Brullo, Salvatore Brullo*, Gianpietro Giusso del Galdo, Vincenzo Ilardi & Saverio Sciandrello  (2012)
Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (46 images)
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-0.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-1.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-2.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-3.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-4.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-5.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-6.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-7.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-8.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-9.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-10.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-11.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-12.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-13.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-14.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-15.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-16.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-17.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-18.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-19.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-20.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-21.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-22.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-23.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-24.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-25.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-26.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-27.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-28.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-29.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-30.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-31.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-32.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-33.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-34.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-35.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-36.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-37.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-38.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-39.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-40.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-41.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-42.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-43.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-44.
   Silene colorata   -   Image Code: SILCO-45.

Buy Seeds and Docs
Sales of seeds of wild plants for academic studies, research or personal use. Note that not all species seeds can be exported - depending on Maltese regulations and CITES, and availability depends on season. You are hence kindly requested to first fill and submit a quotation form by which you will get confirmation of the purchase, availability and charges. Currently local orders are not taken.   Online Quotation (Seeds)

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Use this form to submit more information on this species or report mistakes in this webpage. If information supplied is taken from a book, journal or website, please provide the corresponding reference or website address. Your email address is only for internal communication. Please report only Maltese locations for plants that indicated as rare or very rare (refer to the nomenclature section above). Please do report mistakes, broken links, technical errors, typing / grammar errors, misidentifications or taxonomical updates; this will help to improve the website's accuracy. Thanks you! Fill any of the three sections (A/B/C) below and kindly submit the form.     * = required fields.
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Section A:  Additional Information about this plant species
Own observations: Info from published material (books, journals, website):
Reference of published material:
Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
Locations in Malta or Gozo where you have seen this plant. Only applies for rare plants.

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Try to be as concise as possible. Examples: Dingli Cliffs (near chapel), Wied Incita (Zebbug side), Triq il-Kbira (Qormi), Barriera ta' Ghajn Abdul (Xlendi), Fields East of Salib tal-gholja (Siggiewi). GPS co-ordinates are also welcomed!
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