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

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

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Rosemary Taylor  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #58447)

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Distribution of Silene gallica
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Species Information

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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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / 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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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) 55 175 259
Slope Gradient (%) 0 37 90
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
60 183 260
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 1 2
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: CDF(2)


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 cool temperate & cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Silene anglica L.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References