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Silene regia— Royal Catchfly (Pink family (Caryophyllaceae))




Silene Regia is a Perennial plant which grows up to a height of 24-48 inches (that is, the plant grows 2 to 4 feet tall and half as wide). It is unbranched and the stems are covered with hairs that are white in color on both the sides. The flowers are striking crimson-scarlet or bright red in color and bloom in the period of June to August. The leaves are light to medium green with fuzzy texture and are up to 4 inches long and 2inches wide. The leaf edges are smooth and are lanceolate to ovate. The flowers are star shaped and have 5 narrow petals and are about 1inch long and ¾-1 inches across. The calyx is light green and grey Anthers. The calyx has sticky hairs to trap insects. The flowers have no scent. The nectar of the flowers attracts the larger butterflies, such as Papilio polyxenes asterias (Black Swallowtail), and the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. Aphids suck juices from the upper stems occasionally. The root is central tap and has short rhizomes, which enable this plant to spread vegetatively to form small colonies. Plant grows in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 9.
The plant occurs naturally in open woods, glades, meadows, and prairies from Georgia to Louisiana and Oklahoma, north to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri.

Growing Conditions for Silene regia— Royal Catchfly

• Seeds require cold treatment.
• Plant some seeds around March and leave them outside.
• The seeds will sprout when it gets warmer.
• After a while move them to the garden.
• Or Sow the seeds in fall; in spring or grow with root basal cuttings.
• Plants remain thin so they can be planted close together but typically Plant Spacing should be twelve to twenty four Inches.
• Some plants may bloom the first year and get to maybe 18 inches tall.
• Plants get taller (supposedly up to 4 feet) in later years.
• Plants will need some support when the flowers come out and the plants become too heavy.
• Plants grow well in average to rich and well drained soil.
• Plant needs full sun.

Care for Silene regia— Royal Catchfly

• Provide with average, well-drained soil.
• It needs neutral to alkaline soil.
• It needs full sun or light shade.
• It resents excessive shading.
• This species tolerates drought. During drought, the lower leaves may turn yellow and fall off the plant
• Grows in clay soil but prefers sandy or gravelly soil.
• Good drainage is essential.
• Plants may need staking.
• Snails, slugs, whiteflies, spider mites, aphids, smut, rust, stem and leaf fungi can pose a problem. So avoid them by a fertilizer.
• Plant grows in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 9.





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