Catchfly Plantor

Catchfly Plantor

Catchfly Plant

Beautify your garden with Silene armeria (Garden Catchfly), a lovely perennial plant with eye-catching rounded clusters of bright pink flowers in mid or late summer. Native to Europe, Catchfly has escaped gardens and naturalized in most of the US. The common name 'Catchfly' is derived from the sticky stems of the plant which may catch small insects. Prefers full sun in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils. Afternoon shade tolerated. Excellent drainage is essential and sandy or gravelly soils are favored by this plant. Garden Catchfly doesn't perform well in hot and humid summer areas.


Royal Catchfly is a perennial forb that grows from a perennial crown atop a deep taproot. As the crown grows in size, there may be several rosettes and shoots, but Royal Catchfly does not produce horizontal rhizomes. The stems produced from the crown mat reach up to 1.6 meters tall, sometimes nearly 2 meters, if one includes the inflorescence. The leaves are entire and opposite, up to 7 centimeters long. Royal Catchfly plants may be smooth but more often have a covering of very short hairs; the stems and leaves are usually green, but sometimes the stems develop a purplish tinge. The inflorescence develops at the top of the stem, usually in June. Plants flower from late June to August, but may not start flowering until July at the northern margin of their range. The sepals are green (sometimes covered with sticky glands) and the petals are usually an intense shade of crimson. Sometimes they may be a dull red, very rarely pinkish, or even white. The stigmas and anthers develop at different times, preventing any given flower from self-pollination. The fruit is a capsule, opening at the top. The capsules begin ripening in late August, and most seed falls in September and October. The seeds disperse as the stems holding the capsules are shaken by the wind. Seedlings require an open soil surface for germination and establishment, as would be present after a prairie fire.

differing in the flowers having five styles (three in Silene), the seed capsule having five teeth (six in Silene), and in the sticky stems of Lychnis. Common names include campion and catchfly respectively, the latter name based on the sticky stems.Native to the North American grasslands, the silene plant is renowned for its colorful early summer blossoms. Most often referred to as the catchfly, the plant typically blooms in shades of pink, magenta, white, and red. The plant's sticky leaves and stems (which are what give this flower its memorable "catchfly" moniker) are actually not strong enough to catch a fly, nor do these flowers attract the pesky insects. They are, however, a favorite amongst hummingbirds and butterflies, so silene makes a perfect addition to either container plantings or pollinator gardens, which will offer a medium green foliage for many months after the plant first blooms. (Source: www.thespruce.com)


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