White campion (white cockle) – Silene latifolia

White campion (white cockle)

Silene latifolia Poir.
Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Life cycle

Annual, biennial or short-lived perennial.

Leaves

Seedling leaves initially develop from a basal rosette. Basal leaves are attached to the stem by petioles; stem leaves are without petioles. Leaves are opposite, softly hairy with a grayish tinge, and lance-shaped to oval with a pointed tip and smooth to slightly wavy leaf margins.

Stems

Soft, hairy stems are erect or semierect at maturity, and up to 3 feet tall. Stems
have swollen nodes and often branch at the base.

Flowers and fruit

Male and female flowers are produced on separate plants. Flowers have five showy, white petals, each with a deep V-shaped notch at the tip. Just below the petals are fused and inflated sepals that create a balloonlike appearance. Fruit are light brown, vaseshaped capsules with 10 teeth at the open end. Each capsule contains numerous brown to gray, kidney-shaped seeds.

Reproduction

Seeds and root fragmentation.

Similar weeds

Bladder campion
[S. vulgaris (Moench) Garcke]
Differs by having a strong perennial nature, hairless stems and leaves, and globe-shaped fruiting capsules.
Nightflowering catchfly (S. noctiflora L.)
Differs by having an annual habit, sticky hairs on the stems and leaves, flowers containing both male and female organs, and fruiting capsules with six teeth at the open end.

White-campion-rosette-300x200
White campion rosette
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White campion leaf
White-campion-flower-300x242
White campion flower
White-campion-flower-side-view-300x200
White campion flower – side view

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