NOTTINGHAM CATCHFLY

Silene nutans

(Formerly: Lychnis nutans)
Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8white
 
inner
inner8green
 
inner
inner8red
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ5
 
petals
petalsZcleft petalsZcut
deeply
stem
stem8round
 
smell
smell8fragrant
fragrant
rarity
rarityZscarce
 
sex
sexZbisexual
 

27th May 2011, Redcliff, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Covering quite an area!


27th May 2011, Redcliff, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
A mass of plants. Their leaves below.


27th May 2011, Redcliff, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
With so many plants in close proximity it is not easy to see what's what here. But the petals of these specimens have indeed curled up in daylight (which is more than can be said for the following specimens in North Wales).


26th June 2019, flanks of Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are supposed to have open petals at night and closed during daytime, but obviously these specimens need their clocks resetting ;-) Grows to 70cm high.


26th June 2019, flanks of Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The stems are more or less erect.


26th June 2019, flanks of Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The calyx (the striped red/green things) are 9 to 12mm long (the otherwise similar Italian Catchfly has longer calyx at 14-21mm long).


26th June 2019, flanks of Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
It is fond of geometry with angled junctions at every opportunity, the junctions having a couple of short bracts. The flowers are droopy.


26th June 2019, flanks of Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Close to the centre of the flower are a number of short white acute-triangular scales (these scales are small and 'knob-like' on the otherwise very similar Italian Catchfly)


26th June 2019, flanks of Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
There are 5 petals, but each is deeply cleft. In the daytime they roll up like a carpet but at night they open out. These seem confused.


26th June 2019, flanks of Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Just left of centre a spent flower is shedding the calyx to reveal a long (at the moment green) fruit capsule.


27th May 2011, Redcliff, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
These specimens seem to have a much longer white flower tube than the ones your Author saw on the Great Orme. They must be at a different stage in their life. The 3 long red styles are prominent.


26th June 2019, flanks of Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD


26th June 2019, flanks of Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The stems and flower stalks of plant is covered in a mass of short sticky glandular hairs (with a tiny bobble (the gland) at their tips). The 3 long purple-tinged projections are styles.


26th June 2019, flanks of Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
5 of the filaments are very long, the other 5 very short and contorted keeping near to the centre of the flower. They have greenish turning to fawn T-bar anthers.


26th June 2019, flanks of Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
There are 10 of the short white acute-triangular scales at the centre of Nottingham Catchfly. [Some contorted stamens aka filaments have lost their anthers].


26th June 2019, flanks of Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The stems are sticky with many short glandular hairs. Leaves oval of variable shape but no teeth.


Could be mistaken for : Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris) or White Campion (Silne latifolia) but look at the inflated calyxes and the colour of the calyx to easily dismiss these.

Some similarities to : Italian Catchfly (Silene italica) but look at the captions for two differences.

Catchflys, Campions and Ragged Robin all come under the Silene genus, but there are subtle differences between them. The Catchflys usually have flowers that open at night and emanate a sweet smell to attract flies, moths or other insects. The insects get stuck onto the sticky stem made sticky by the glandular hairs which exude a sticky substance. But catchflys are not true carnivorous plants, for they do not dissolve or consume the trapped insect (but were once thought to so do in the past). Catchflys are supposed to curl up their petals by day and not emanate much smell then either.

They grow in bare or dry grassy places and also on cliffs, rocks or shingle. They are a fairly rare [RR] and occur scattered in on the South Coast, in the Nottingham area, and North Wales and in the Peak District.


  Silene nutans  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Caryophyllaceae  

Distribution
 family8Carnation & Campion (Pink) family8Caryophyllaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Silene
Silene
(Campions)

NOTTINGHAM CATCHFLY

Silene nutans

(Formerly: Lychnis nutans)
Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]