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

Silene noctiflora L.
night-flowering catchfly (nightflowering silene; sticky cockle)
Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Silene noctiflora
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot; stems erect, several, branched, hairy, becoming sticky-hairy above, 20-90 cm tall.
Basal leaves spoon-shaped, 5-12 cm long, short-stalked; stem leaves opposite, lanceolate to elliptic, 2-10 cm long, up to 4 cm wide, unstalked, hairy above and below; stipules lacking.
Inflorescence of 2-many flowers in a cluster, opening at night, fragrant; petals 5, yellowish beneath and rosy above, glabrous, stalklike at the bases, the blades 7-10 mm long, the stalks 12-25 mm long, 2-cleft less than 1/2 their length; sepals 5, greenish to pinkish, united, forming a woolly, glandular-hairy tube 12-25 mm long, 10-nerved.
Capsules egg-shaped, 1.5-2.5 cm long, 6-valved; seeds 0.8-1.2 mm long, brown, roughened.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry waste places and cultivated fields in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common in S BC, rare on the Queen Charlotte Islands; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Silene noctiflora

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 350 1375 2330
Slope Gradient (%) 0 35 85
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 198 350
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(3), ESSF(9), IDF(9), MS(1), PP(1)


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

Melandrium noctiflorum (L.) Fr.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References