Silene gallica Caryophyllaceae Small-flowered Catchfly

var. gallica var. anglica var. quinquevulnera en masse

Silene gallica 12kb

Description - An unassuming plant, often unnoticed when growing amongst coastal grasses, but fascinating in having three colour forms, all commonly found in Guernsey. var. anglica has white flowers, var. gallica a pale pink, var. quinquevulnera has white petals with a dark crimson spot in the centre of each, and thus is by far the most attractive. Flowers are small, under 1 cm in diameter, and well-spaced on a flower spike of 5-10 flowers. The whole plant is 3-20cm high, and is stickily hairy.

Habitat - Sandy, coastal soil, commonly on the edges of paths, occasionally inland in suitable poor soil.

Comments - Quite a common plant around the coast, but can go unseen. The sticky hairs do catch tiny insects as the name suggests, but they are not used for the nutrition of the plant.

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