Caryophyllaceae-Silene2017-08-17T15:16:02+00:00

   Caryophyllaceae: Pink Family — Catchfly & Pink

Windmill Pink / Catchfly – Silene gallica

Blooms:

Apr–June

Plant Height:

10–40 cm

Flower Size:

Small

Origin:

Europe

Habitat:

Grassy and disturbed areas

Notes:

Common and easily recognized by its one-sided inflorescence with a vertical arrangement of whitish-pink flowers with 5 angled petals resembling a tiny windmill. Like other members of its genus, it  has a bladder-shaped calyx, glandular-hairy and with 10 purplish-striped veins. Insects can get stuck on the sticky hairs – hence the alternative common name.

Lemmon’s Catchfly / Campion – Silene lemmonii

Blooms:

May–July

Plant Height:

15–45 cm

Flower Size:

Medium

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Open to partly-shaded woodland

Notes:

This catchfly (like Indian Pink (Silene laciniata)) is distinctive with its finely dissected petals which are divided into 4 linear lobes. The flowers are nodding and may be either white (with a greenish bladder-shaped calyx) or pink (with pink-tinged veins on its calyx).  The calyx has 10 veins.  The exserted stamens are as long as or longer than the petals. The 3 styles are longer than both petals and stamens.

Indian Pink – Silene laciniata subsp. californica

Blooms:

Apr–July

Plant Height:

15–30 cm

Flower Size:

Large

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Oak woodlands, chaparral and coniferous forest

Notes:

A low-growing plant with prostrate to decumbent stems and erect, bright red flowers.  These are very distinctive with their 5 petals divided into 4-6 narrow lobes. Each petal has 2 small appendages at its base.  Leaves are broadly lanceolate to ovate, reducing in size towards the top of the stem. There are records of a related subspecies (subsp. laciniata) in the county although this is more usually found in San Luis Obispo county and south.  This subspecies (the right hand photo) has linear to narrowly lanceolate leaves, a narrower calyx and a taller, more open growth habit.

Hairy Pink – Petrorhagia dubia

Blooms:

April–May

Plant Height:

10–60 cm

Flower Size:

Medium

Origin:

Mediterranean

Habitat:

Disturbed areas, roadsides

Notes:

This flower, borne at the tip of a long, slender stem, has 5 heart-shaped petals and a fusiform (narrowing at both ends) tube. The petals have distinctive darker veining.  Subtending bracts narrow ti a short acute tip.  Leaves are opposite and linear to oblong.