White Campion

White_Campion_jpgThis family (Caryophyllaceae) commonly called the Pink or Carnation Family consists of 89 genera and 2,070 species of herbs, shrubs and a few trees found in temperate and warm climates.  Latin caryophlum means “a clove” alluding to the clove-like scent to some carnations. The name of this genus, Silene, is said to have come from mythological Silenus referring to the viscous secretions of many species and the intoxicated foster-father of bracchus being described as covered with foam. The common name “Bladder Campion” refers to the shape of the flower. White Campion and other plants in this genus, Silene, are a minor source of food for songbirds.

OtherCommonName:

White Cockle, Bladder Campion, Maiden’s Tears

ScientificName:

Silene latifolia

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Introduced from Europe

LifeSpan:

Annual

PlantHeight:

1 ½ to 4 feet

FruitingTime:

Late June to October

Distribution:

Newfoundland to Virginia ~ Statewide in New Jersey, often a weed in fields, gardens and road sides

FloweringTime:

May to September

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Many stems depressed-ascending or decumbent ~ Leaves lance to elliptical shaped, up to 10 pair on a stem hairy ~ Cluster of flower white, short teeth, odorous, opens in the evening, base of flower resembles an inflated bladder ~ Seeds gray with blunt tubercles ~ Dioecious i.e. the male and female flowers are borne on separate plants