Silene rothmaleri

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Caryophyllales - Family: Caryophyllaceae

Silene rothmaleri - a very rare endemic of the Algarve region of Portugal

Silene rothmaleri is an extremely rare endemic of the southwest coast of Portugal, where its occupancy is less than 400 km2, and less than 3,500 individuals are believed to exist.

The species was first collected in 1945, officially described in 1956, and never collected again, and was therefore believed to be extinct by most botanists. In fact S. rothmaleri still occurs on a few remote shale slopes in the Cape St. Vincent area (where it is legally protected) and the authors of Field Guide to the Wildflowers of the Algarve, Chris Thorogood and Simon Hiscock, have observed the plant in flower most years in the last decade. Silene rothmaleri is not extinct but it is extremely rare.

Photograph by kind permission of Chris Thorogood - Field Guide to the Wildflowers of the Algarve, by Chris Thorogood and Simon Hiscock (Kew Publishing 2014) ISBN 978 1 84246 497 7, available via www.kewbooks.com

The photograph on this page was taken in the Algarve, in Portugal.

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