New records of two species of Caryophyllaceae in the flora of the United Arab Emirates
Silene arabica and Vaccaria hispanica of the family Caryophyllaceae are reported for the first time from the United Arab Emirates. The two species have been found growing on sandy soils in different parts of the country. Silene arabica was found in Dubai and Ra’s al-Khaimah, while Vaccaria hispanica, the only species in its genus, was recorded in Ajman. Caryophyllaceae, commonly known as the pink or carnation family, is a taxon of flowering plants that has about 89 genera and 3,000 species found worldwide, mainly in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. With around 700 species (Melzheimer, 1988), Silene is the largest genus of the family, which is most diverse in the Mediterranean region and the Middle East (Greuter, 1995). Vaccaria is a monotypic genus of Caryophyllaceae, comprised of the single species V. hispanica.