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

Silene vulgaris (Moench) Garcke
bladder campion (maidenstears)
Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #78003)

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Distribution of Silene vulgaris
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Species Information

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Perennial from a strong taproot; stems erect to ascending, several, branched, usually glabrous and glaucous, 20-80 cm tall, the lower branches sometimes decumbent and rhizome-like.
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves opposite, narrowly egg-shaped to oblanceolate, 3-8 cm long, 1-3 cm wide, glabrous, lower ones short-stalked, upper ones unstalked; stipules lacking.
Inflorescence of several to many flowers in a usually open and loose cluster; petals 5, white, clawed, the claws expanded above, about 2 cm long, the blades 4-6 mm long, deeply 2-cleft, otherwise entire; sepals 5, pale green to purplish, united, forming a tube 15-20 mm long and becoming inflated, prominently net-veined, glabrous except for the fringed lobes, 15- or 20-nerved.
Capsules egg-shaped to ellipsoid, 1.8-2 cm long, 6-valved; seeds 1-1.5 mm long, white becoming brown, warty-pimply.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry roadsides, fields and waste places in the lowland, steppe and lower montane zones; common in S BC; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Silene vulgaris

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) 469 950 2425
Slope Gradient (%) 0 28 68
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
64 161 311
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 5
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: AT(1), BG(1), ESSF(1), IDF(4), PP(2), SWB(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

Oberna commutata (Guss.) Ikonn.
Silene cucubalus Wibel
Silene cucubalus var. latifolia
Silene inflata Sm.
Silene latifolia (Mill.) Britten & Rendle

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References