Silene stellata (Starry Campion)

Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913.  An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols.  Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. Vol. 2: 63. Provided by Kentucky Native Plant Society. Scanned by Omnitek Inc

Where Commonly Found:  Forests, shores of rivers and lakes, rocky woodland slopes.

How to Identify:
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Go Botany Key for Silene stellata.
Illinois Wildflower’s description of Silene stellata.  Click on more images.

Flower Color:  White
Flower Type:  Panicle
of flowers up to 8″ long and 3″-4″ wide at top of central stem.  Large plants may also have panicles on upper side shoots.  The flowers are individual or in groups of 2 -3 on .25″ or less pedicels.  Each flower is .75″ across with 5 white fringed petals, light green, bell-shaped calyx with 5 broad teeth along upper rim, a pistil with 3 thin white styles and 10 stamens with slender white filaments. The outer surface of the calyx is light green, hairless to finely pubescent.
Flower Time:  June to July 
Leaf Arrangement:  Opposite lowermost and uppermost and whorls of 4 in the middle, all on an unbranched to sparingly branched erect stem that is pale green to pale reddish green, hairless to densely pubescent, swollen at the bases of leaves.  
Leaf Type:  Simple, eliptic or lanceolate, leaves are up to 4″ long by 1.5″ wide, smooth margins and sessile with hairless, yellowish, greyish or medium green upper surfaces and pale, hairless to finely pubescent under surfaces.  The flower tends to close up in the heat of the day.
Height:  1 ‘- 2.5’
Seed Collection:  Fruit is ovoid, dry, with a pebbly surface, and splits open when ripe.  AS THIS PLANT IS RARE OR ENDANGERED IN PARTS OF OUR REGION PLEASE FOLLOW GUIDELINES BY THE CENTER FOR PLANT CONSERVATION.

Attracts:  Butterflies, moths, bumblebees
Use:  Naturalized part shade woodland garden.
Light:  Full to Part Sun
Hardiness Zone: 5 – 8 USDA Zone Map
Soils:  Dry to Moist
Notes:  Beautiful flowers, could be useful in the naturalized garden, does reseed.
Native to: NATIVE, RARE AND/OR ENDANGERED IN CT, NY, VT, RI and most of the US east of the Rockies.  Biota of North America Program, North America Plant Atlas.


Requested by Bronx River Wildflower Corridor, Roseanne Andrade.

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