Silene dioica – Red Campion
An attractive medium to tall perennial with a downy stem and opposite paired leaves. The flowers, which are rose pink, consist of five cleft petals joined at their base to form a tube which is surrounded by a purple brown calyx. Red campion is dioecious, a botanical term that means the male and female flowers are carried on separate plants, hence the species name dioica. The peak of flowering starts as bluebells fade but flowers can be found from March to November with a few remaining throughout the winter.
|Type||Seeds per gram||Origin||Ordering|
|Grassland Perennial||1000||Shropshire, Cumbria||Order this species|
Red campion is a relatively short lived perennial, most often associated with lightly shaded sites such as hedgerows, coppice and woodland clearings but can persist as a non flowering plant in deeper shade. Female plants can produce thousands of seeds per season. These can remain viable in the soil for many years until conditions are right for germination, as can often be seen following coppicing. Red campion is unable to cope with prolonged periods of waterlogging and consequently is absent from most heavy clay sites, preferring well drained and moderately fertile soils.
Easily grown from seed sown at any time of the year.