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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Ordo: Caryophyllales

Familia: Caryophyllaceae
Tribus: Sileneae
Genus: Heliosperma
Species: H. alpestre – H. arcanum – H. intonsum – H. macranthum – H. malyi – H. nikolicii – H. pusillum – H. retzdorffianum – H. tommasinii – H. veselskyi

Heliosperma (Rchb.) Rchb., Deut. Bot. Herb.-Buch 206. (1841) et Ic. Fl. Germ. 16: 71, t. 277. (1844) nom. cons. against Ixoca Raf. (1840)

Type species: Heliosperma alpestre (Jacq.) Griseb. Deut. Bot. Herb.-Buch 206 (1841) not yet lecotypified originally designated as synonym Silene quadrifida L. Syst. Nat., ed. 10. 2: 1032. (1759)


Silene [unranked] Heliosperma Rchb., Fl. German. Excurs. 817. (1832)
Ixoca Raf., Aut. Bot. 25. (1840)

Primary references

Reichenbach, H.G.L. 1841. Der Deutsche Botaniker Herbarienbuch [ 206].

Additional references

Hernández-Ledesma, P., Berendsohn, W. G., Borsch, T., Mering, S. v., Akhani, H., Arias, S., Castañeda-Noa, I., Eggli, U., Eriksson, R., Flores-Olvera, H., Fuentes-Bazán, S., Kadereit, G., Klak, C., Korotkova, N., Nyffeler R., Ocampo G., Ochoterena, H., Oxelman, B., Rabeler, R. K., Sanchez, A., Schlumpberger, B. O. & Uotila, P. 2015. A taxonomic backbone for the global synthesis of species diversity in the angiosperm order Caryophyllales. Willdenowia 45(3): 281–383. DOI: 10.3372/wi.45.45301 Open access Reference page.


Farr, E. R. & Zijlstra, G. eds. (1996-) Index Nominum Genericorum (Plantarum). 2010 May 08 [1].
Hassler, M. 2017. Heliosperma. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2017. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2017 June 21. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2017. Heliosperma. Published online. Accessed: June 21 2017. 2017. Heliosperma. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 21 June 2017.

Heliosperma is a genus of flowering plants in 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] Cases of parallel divergence events between alpine and mountain populations have been reported in this genus.[5][6][unreliable source?]


Around 15 species are currently recognised in the genus:[7]

Heliosperma albanicum K.Malý
Heliosperma alpestre Rchb. – Eastern Alps
Heliosperma chromodontum Rohrb. – Greece
Heliosperma insulare Trinajstić – Croatia
Heliosperma intonsum (Greuter & Melzh.) Niketić & Stevan. – Greece
Heliosperma macranthum Pančić
Heliosperma monachorum Vis. & Pančić
Heliosperma nikolicii (A.Seliger & Wraber) Niketić & Stevan. – Kosovo
Heliosperma oliverae Niketić & Stevan. – Montenegro
Heliosperma pudibundum Griseb.
Heliosperma pusillum Vis. – NW Spain, Pyrenees, Alps, Carpathians
Heliosperma retzdorffianum Maly – Bosnia and Herzegovina
Heliosperma tommasinii Vis. – Montenegro, Albania
Heliosperma vandasii Neumayer – Macedonia
Heliosperma veselskyi Janka – Slovenia


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. hdl:2027.42/146904. JSTOR 25065663.
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. PMID 20525587.
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.
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. PMID 22289764.
Trucchi, Emiliano; Frajman, Božo; Haverkamp, Thomas H. A.; Schönswetter, Peter; Paun, Ovidiu (2017). "Genomic analyses suggest parallel ecological divergence in Heliosperma pusillum (Caryophyllaceae)". New Phytologist. 216 (1): 267–278. doi:10.1111/nph.14722. ISSN 1469-8137. PMC 5601199. PMID 28782803.
Szukala, Aglaia; Lovegrove-Walsh, Jessica; Luqman, Hirzi; Fior, Simone; Wolfe, Thomas Mahteson; Frajman, Bozo; Schoenswetter, Peter; Paun, Ovidiu (5 July 2021). "Polygenic routes lead to parallel altitudinal adaptation in Heliosperma pusillum (Caryophyllaceae)". bioRxiv. 2021.07.05.451094. doi:10.1101/2021.07.05.451094. S2CID 235761119.

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.

Further reading
Marjan Niketić; Vladimir Stevanović (2007). "A new species of Heliosperma (Caryophyllaceae) from Serbia and Montenegro". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 154 (1): 55–63. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2007.00643.x.

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