Silene gallica L.
small-flowered catchfly (common catchfly)
Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Rosemary Taylor     (Photo ID #58447)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Silene gallica
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Annual from a slender taproot; stems ascending, several, branched, conspicuously white-hairy and sticky, 10-50 cm tall.
Basal leaves few, oblanceolate to spoon-shaped, hairy, broadly stalked; stem leaves opposite, lanceolate, hairy, unstalked, 1.5-4 cm long, 2-15 mm wide; stipules lacking.
Inflorescence falsely racemose, the flowers solitary at each node; petals 5, whitish to pink or purple, stalklike at the bases, the stalks narrow, 4-6 mm long, the blades elliptic to egg-shaped, entire or shallowly notched at the apex, the basal appendages about 1 mm long and linear, slightly twisted, and the corolla therefore somewhat pinwheel-like in appearance; sepals 5, united, forming a tube 6-9 mm long at flowering time, inflating in fruit, 10-nerved, hairy and glandular.
Capsules egg-shaped, to 10 mm long, 6-valved; seeds blackish, kidney-shaped, about 1 mm long, hairy, finely corrugate-wrinkled.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Silene gallica

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)
175 55 259
Slope Gradient (%)
37 0 90

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

183 60 260
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 0 2
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in


Habitat and Range

Mesic to dry roadsides and waste places; common in SW BC, known from SE Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the adjacent mainland; introduced from Europe.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Silene anglica L.