Plants perennial; taproot stout, fleshy; caudex branched. Stems several, straggling to erect, freely branched, 2-7 cm, pilose and glandular, sparsely so proximally. Leaves: basal leaves withered at time of flowering, distal sessile, proximal petiolate, largest on mid to distal stem; blade subrotund to broadly ovate-lanceolate, 3-10 cm × 20-70 mm, base cuneate into petiole, apex short-acuminate, sparsely short-pilose. Inflorescences cymose, open, few-flowered, leafy, bracteate; bracts resembling distal leaves. Pedicels 1-3(-4) cm, viscid, with long septate-glandular hairs. Flowers: calyx indistinctly veined, tubular, broadened distally, constricted towards base around carpophore, ± umbilicate, 20-25 × 5-8 mm, herbaceous, glandular-pilose, lobes triangular, 3-4 mm, margins narrow, membranous, ciliate; corolla scarlet, clawed, claw equaling calyx, limb deeply 2-lobed, 10-15 mm, lobes lanceolate, sometimes with 2 smaller lateral teeth, ciliate, appendages saccate, 1-1.5 mm, with clear area abaxially; stamens shortly exserted; styles 3, shortly exserted. Capsules narrowly ellipsoid, not distending calyx, included within it, opening by 6 teeth; carpophore 6-8 mm. Seeds gray, broadly reniform, plump, ca. 1 mm, shallowly papillate. 2n = 48. Flowering late spring-summer. Woodlands, partially shaded cliffs and bluffs; 200-600 m; Ala., Ga., Ky., Ohio, Tenn., W.Va. Silene rotundifolia is clearly related to S. laciniata but is a well-marked species of the deciduous forest region.
Taprooted perennial, 2-7 dm, the stems weak, freely branched, thinly glandular-pilose; cauline lvs 5-8 pairs, sessile or the lower short-petiolate, broadly lanceolate to elliptic- obovate or suborbicular, 3-10 נ2-7 cm, often ciliate; infl open; fls few; cal broadly tubular, 2-2.5 cm, thinly pilose and viscid-puberulent; pet with ciliate claw, the auricles 1-2 mm, the appendages 1-1.5 mm, the blade crimson, glandular-ciliate, deeply bifid into lanceolate segments; carpophore 6-8 mm; styles 3; capsule dehiscent by 6 teeth; 2n=48. Exposed cliffs and banks; W.Va. and s. O. to Ala. and Ga. Summer.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.