Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Silene latifolia
white campion, evening catchfly

Distribution: Widely distributed on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east across most of North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Roadsides, fields, meadows, pastures, irrigation ditches, forest edge, thickets, wastelots, and other disturbed open areas, often where moist.

Flowers: May-August

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Growth Duration: Biennial, Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Stout, dioecious perennial from a branched crown, the several simple stems 5-11 dm. tall, stiff-hairy below and glandular in the inflorescence.


Basal leaves petiolate, lanceolate to oblanceolate, up to 10 cm. long and 2 cm. broad; cauline leaves 5-9 pairs, slightly reduced upward and becoming sessile.


Flowers several in an open, spreading, leafy-bracteate inflorescence; calyx 15-20 mm. long and tubular, the 5 lobes narrow; the calyx of the pistillate flowers inflated, 20-nerved; corolla white; claw of the petals equaling the calyx, broadened and auriculate at the junction with the blade; the blade 7-10 mm. long, narrowly obovate, deeply lobed, with 2 small, triangular appendages; styles 5; stamens 10, fused at the base, forming a tube.


Capsule 1-celled, ovoid, opening by 5 bifid, spreading valves.

Accepted Name:
Silene latifolia Poir.
Publication: Voy. Barbarie. 2: 165. 1789.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Lychnis alba Mill. [HC]
Silene alba (Mill.) E.H.L. Krause
Silene latifolia Poir. ssp. alba (Mill.) Greuter & Burdet
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Silene latifolia in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Silene latifolia checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Silene latifolia atlas page.

CalPhotos: Silene latifolia photos.

USDA Plants: Silene latifolia information.

53 photographs:
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