White campion (white cockle)

June 16, 2015

Silene latifolia Poir. Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Life cycle

Annual, biennial or short-lived perennial.


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 pointed tips and smooth to slightly wavy leaf margins.

White campion rosette white campion opposite leaves
White campion rosette (left) and opposite leaves (right).


Soft, hairy stems are erect or semi-erect 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 create a balloon-like appearance. Fruit are light brown, vase-shaped capsules with 10 teeth at the open end. Each capsule contains numerous brown to gray, kidney-shaped seeds.


Seeds and root fragmentation.

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