SILENE

FAMILY: Caryophyllaceae

TYPE
  • Perennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Varies by Species

Plant Details

The plants listed here are North American wildflowers with showy white, pink, or bright red blossoms. Some grow upright; others form low mats. Excellent for use in naturalized areas, in woodland and rock gardens, and at the front of the border. Provide fertile, well-drained soil.

wild pink

silene caroliniana

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native from Florida to New Hampshire, west to Missouri.
  • Low-growing (4- to 8 inches-tall) mound to 1 feet across.
  • Bluish green leaves to 5 inches long; clusters of upward-facing, inch-wide, white to deep pink flowers with notched petals in late spring, early summer.
  • Best in sandy or gravelly soil.
  • Little to moderate water.
  • Short and Sweet has deep pink blooms.

mexican catchfly

silene laciniata

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native to mountains of Mexico, New Mexico, and California.
  • Somewhat sprawling, 2- to 3 feet stems carry leaves 15 inches long.
  • Blooms in summer, bearing showy, bright red, inch-wide flowers with deeply fringed petals.
  • Likes full sun and lean soil.
  • Little to moderate water.
  • Jack Flash produces brilliant orange-red flowers over a long period.

fringed campion

silene polypetala

  • Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8.
  • Native to the southern Appalachians.
  • Rare and endangered; be careful to buy only nursery-propagated plants.
  • Dark green, spoon-shaped leaves to 4 inches long form a mat to 112 feet across, 46 inches high.
  • Blooms in late spring, bearing lovely soft pink flowers to 112 inches across; petal tips are deeply fringed, the fringes fading to white with age.
  • Lovely plant for a woodland garden; needs partial shade and moist, well-drained soil loaded with organic matter.
  • Longwood, a hybrid with Silene caroliniana, has fringed, deep pink flowers and forms an evergreen mound to 8 inches high.

royal catchfly

silene regia

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native to eastern U.S. To 34 feet high, 1122 feet wide.
  • Slender, often reclining stems carry thick, lance-shaped leaves to 5 inches long.
  • Small clusters of 2 inches-wide scarlet blossoms appear in summer.
  • The common name catchfly comes from the sticky calyxesthey can trap small insects.
  • Best in partial shade.
  • Little to moderate water.
  • Prairie Fire is vigorous and free-blooming.

fire pink

silene virginica

  • Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8.
  • Native to eastern and central U.S. Narrow, lance-shaped leaves to 4 inches long in a clump 12 feet tall and 1 feet wide.
  • Clusters of inch-wide crimson flowers with deeply notched petals in late spring or early summer.
  • Regular water.

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