Sweet William Catchfly
Height: 12-15" (30-40cm) Flowering Time: Summer Flower Colour: Pink ____________________________________
Subclass: Dicotyledonae (Dicotyledons) Superorder: Caryophyllidae (Pinks Superorder) Order: Caryophyllales (Pinks Order) Family: Caryophyllaceae (Pinks Family) Genus: Silene (Catchfly) Species: armeria (like Armeria) ____________________________________
Silene armeria is probably more widely known and grown in the US, despite being a native European wild flower. It is variously described as an annual, a biennial, or a short-lived perennial, although it is usually treated as an annual. It is somewhat leggy, being around a foot tall, with a thin stem and greyish lance-shaped leaves, topped with a cluster of bright pink flowers around an inch across in summer.
Like most catchflies, both the stems and leaves are sticky, although there seems to be debate also about the reason for this. One website I found said the stem exudes a sticky sap, although the usual explanation is that small hairs on the stem and leaves trap flies and other insects that try to take the nectar without pollinating the flowers.
Harvesting and Growing from Seed:
Seed Pod The seedpod is a long thin cylinder.
Seed The seeds are tiny brown balls. There are many seeds in a seedpod.
Seedling The seedleaves are rounded, and the first true leaves are pointed and greyish.
(You can check the meaning of any technical terms new to you in the Botany section of the site)
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