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RED CAMPION

Silene dioica

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]  

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status
statusZnative
flower
flower8pink
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5 petlsZ10
petals
petalsZcleft petalsZcut
inner
inner8white
sex
sexZdioecious

9th June 2008, Near Taddington, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Grows up to 1m high in light shade, such hedge-banks and the edges of woods, river banks, sea-cliffs and mountains on non-acidic soils.


16th May 2005, Lancaster Canal, Carnforth, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
Dark green leaves in opposite pairs.


7th June 2005, Sefton Coastal Path, Nr Formby, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
Upper leaves stalkless. Hairy stems are deep-red.


7th June 2005, Sefton Coastal Path, Nr Formby, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
 Petals deeply cleft to about half-way. Only the female plants have an inner white collar of capusule-teeth, ans styles.


7th June 2005, Sefton Coastal Path, Nr Formby, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
The calyx or sepal tube is hairy, narrow, deep purple-red and has veins, the number of which differs between male and female plants. The teeth at the end are quite short.


23rd June 2015, Moore, Warrington. Photo: © RWD
 Female Flower. With 5 stigmas. [The male flowers have 10 anthers].


23rd June 2015, Moore, Warrington. Photo: © RWD
 Female Flower. With 5 white stigmas surrounded by a collar of white re-curved capsule teeth [whereas the capsule teeth of White Campion are erect - thus this method of differentiating between Red Campion and White Campion only works for female plants - when petal colour becomes the only recourse to differentiation - which is complicated by the existence of hybrids between Red Campion and White Campion).


3rd Sept 2005, Nr Kelsey, Sandstone Trail, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
 Female plant. Going to seed, the sepal tube inflates.


3rd Sept 2005, Nr Kelsey, Sandstone Trail, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
Empty ovoid seed capsule with 10 strongly re-curved teeth at the opening. It would have contained many small seeds.


26th May 2015, Chee Dale, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
 This is obviously a female plant. When fruiting it appears to grow bolt upright. More Red Campion bottom right.


26th May 2015, Chee Dale, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
 A fruiting head. 5 sepals with the calyx having 10 prominent longitudinal ridges. Long red hairs all over.




PINK CAMPION
(Hybrid between Red and White Campion)

(Silene × hampaena)
13th May 2005, Lancaster Canal, Sedgewick, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
Pink Campion, the hybrid between Red and White Campion, which is very common.


12th June 2008, Monks Dale, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Pretty much the only difference is the paler pink petals, the calyx and stem are still infused with red anthocyanin pigments (which are totally absent from albino Red Campion plants).


26th May 2015, Chee Dale, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
 Calyx inflated with (at first) expanding green fruit still with the 5 styles attached. The one on the right still has the remains of the petals atop.




A SMUT

(Microbotryum violaceum)
 Galls and Rusts Menu

10th June 2015, Deep Dale (west), Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The smut Microbotryum silenes-dioicae has infected the anthers of the pink hybrid, totally replacing the pollen with its brownish spores. A similar smut, Microbotryum saponariae, can also infect the anthers of Soapwort.


10th June 2015, Deep Dale (west), Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The spores occupy a much greater volume than did the anthers, with some of the spores splattering the petals. If it infects a female plant, the smut changes the sex of the female stigmas by suppressing the development of the female structures and initiating the production instead of infertile stamen-like structures called staminodes, which it then occupies with avengeance. The smut is passed on to other Red Campions by visiting insects, which unwittingly carry the spores from plant to plant, infecting them.




ALBINO RED CAMPION

7th Aug 2008, Martin Mere, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
At first glance similar to Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris) which is also white, but that has a greatly inflated calyx or sepal tube which is white with pale green or pale pink netted veins and the petals are much more deeply cleft (about 4/5ths rather than only half-way).


7th Aug 2008, Martin Mere, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
ALBINO VARIETY of RED CAMPION


7th Aug 2008, Martin Mere, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
ALBINO VARIETY of RED CAMPION


7th Aug 2008, Martin Mere, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
ALBINO VARIETY of RED CAMPION

Hybridises with : White Campion (Silene latifolia) to produce Pink Campion (Silene dioica × latifolia), the scientific name being Silene × hampeana, which is just as ubiquitous as Red Campion.

It is dioecious, having male and female flowers on separate plants.

The flowers have some similarities to : Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) but they are a much lilac colour and the petals are hardly notched at all.

Distinguishing Feature :

It is dioecious (hence the scientific name) with male and female flowers on separate plants. The male flowers have 10 stamens, the female 5 styles. Unusually, the number of stripes on the calyx also differs, the male flowers having 10 veins, the female 20 veins.

Although it is called Red Campion, it is more pinkish red than red itself.

There is also an albino variety of Red Campion which has flowers that are even whiter than those of White Campion.


  Silene dioica  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Caryophyllaceae  

Distribution
family8carnation family8campion flower8Caryophyllaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8silene
Silene
(Campions)

RED CAMPION

Silene dioica

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]  

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