T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Silene dioica (Red Campion)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(Unranked):        Angiosperms
(Unranked):        Eudicots
(Unranked):        Core eudicots
Order:       Caryophyllales
Family:      Caryophyllaceae
Genus:      Silene
Species:     S. dioica
Binomial name: Silene dioica
Synonyms: Lychnis dioica, Melandrium dioicum, Melandrium rubrum
Common name: Red Campion, Catchfly, English Maiden

Silene dioica is a flowering herbaceous biennial or perennial plant that grows to 30-90 cm, with branching stems. It is native throughout central, western, northern and southern Europe. In it is listed as a weed in New Zealand and can be found growing on damp roadsides, shrub areas, river banks and rocky slopes. It prefers damp, non-acid soils.
Silene dioica deep green leaves are in opposite pairs and are simple acute ovate, 3-8 cm long with an untoothed margin; both the leaves and stems of the plant are hairy and slightly sticky. The upper leaves are stalkless.
It has dark pink to red flowers, each 1.8-2.5 cm across. The flowers are unscented. There are five petals which are deeply notched at the end, narrowed at the base and all go into an urn-shaped calyx. Male and female flowers are born on separate plants, the male has 10 stamens and a 10-veined calyx, the female has 5 styles and a 20-veined calyx. The white calyx teeth are triangular and broader in the female flower.
The fruit is a brown ovoid capsule containing numerous black seeds, opening at the apex by 10 teeth which curve back.







 





Top surface of a leaf.


Unders surface of a leaf.


The hairy stems.