E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Silene dioica (L.) Clairville
red campion (red catchfly)
Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #20798)

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Distribution of Silene dioica
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Species Information

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Biennial or perennial herb from a fibrous root; stems erect, several, branched, glandular above, 30-90 cm tall.
Basal leaves egg-shaped, narrowed to winged stalks, hairy; stem leaves opposite, broadly elliptic to egg-shaped-elliptic, 4-10 cm long, 2-4 cm wide, hairy; stipules lacking.
Inflorescence many-flowered, in clusters, flowers unisexual, plants both male and female; petals 5, red to purplish-red or pink, stalklike at the bases, deeply 2-cleft; sepals 5, usually purplish, hairy, the hairs with purple cross walls, united, forming a tube 10-15 mm long, slightly glandular.
Capsules egg-shaped, with 5, 2-toothed valves; seeds black, densely roughened.
Hybrids between S. dioica and S. latifolia ssp. alba have been collected in the lower Fraser Valley and N to Prince George (McNeill 1978).

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic open forests in the lowland zone; rare in SW BC, known only from the lower Fraser Valley; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Lychnis dioica L.
Melandrium dioicum (L.) Coss. & Germ.
Melandrium dioicum subsp. rubrum (Weigel) D. Löve
Melandrium rubrum (Weigel) Garcke

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References