Silene dioica (L.) Clairv., Man. Herbor. Suisse 146 1811. (Syn: Agrostemma sylvestris (Schkuhr) G.Don; Lychnis dioica L.; Lychnis rubra Patze, E.Mey. & Elkan; Lychnis sylvestris Schkuhr; Melandrium dioicum (L.) Coss. & Germ.; Melandrium dioicum subsp. rubrum D. Löve ….; Melandrium rubrum Garcke; ..; Melandrium sylvestre (Schkuhr) Röhl.; Saponaria dioica (L.) Moench …);
Red campion (Silene dioica, syn. Melandrium rubrum) is a flowering plant in the family Caryophyllaceae, native throughout central, western and northern Europe, and locally in southern Europe.
It is a herbaceous biennial or perennial plant, with 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. It flowers from May to October. The plant grows to 30-90 cm, with branching stems. The deep green leaves are in opposite pairs, 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. Male and female flowers are born on separate plants, the male with 10 stamens and a 10-veined calyx, the female with 5 styles and a 20-veined calyx. The fruit, produced from July onwards, is an ovoid capsule containing numerous seeds, opening at the apex by 10 teeth which curve back.
Red campion grows in roadsides, woodlands, and rocky slopes. It prefers to grow on damp, non-acid soils.
Plants with paler pink flowers are hybrids with the closely related White Campion (S. latifolia); these are common in some areas.
Besides the aesthetic value of its flowers, the crushed seeds of red campion have also been used to cure snakebites . The nectar of the flowers is utilised by bumblebees and butterflies, and several species of moth feed on the foliage.
(From Wikipedia on 22.9.13)
A flower from Norway: Selene dioica, Red Campion, a flower I photographed on an island on the atlantic coast in Norway. Selene species are also found in the Himalaya’s but our flowers appear different.
Yes, Rote Lichtnelke (/Silene dioica/). If you have flowers of this plant in India, plz. do post them for comparison.
Silene dioica ATJUNE2016/34 : 8 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (6)
Another new for efloraindia
Jakhoo Hill, Shimla
May 2014 and 2016 (May be flowering in April- May)
No flowers seen in June
Now the question arises, why it has not been mentioned in local floras?
Very beautiful complete set, …
Since the species has not been reported from India (does not figure in Flora of India, published 1993).
We need to check on few things before its identity can be confirmed and declared.
1. Number of styles
2. length of carpophore
3. Flowers unisexual or bisexual
4. Number of calyx veins
5. Number of capsule teeth
6. Diameter of flower
7. Diameter of Calyx in flower, in fruit.
8. relative length of pedicel and calyx
Thank you, … I’ll visit the locality again and report you back. I have seen only one spot here in Shimla, where it grows every year. No other locality reported. It mostly grows in May. Still I’ll try to visit the spot again.
Silene dioica (L.) Clairv. (Morning Campion/ Daylight Pink) is a native of Europe to Siberia and used as ornamental. It has naturalized in North America (Graf,1992). Probably it has also naturalized here in Shimla area after escaping from cultivation.