Night Flowering Catchfly – Silene noctiflora

Night-flowering catchfly (Silene noctiflora) is somtimes known as Night-flowering Silene. It can reach a height of around 40 cm, the stem itself is unbranched or sometimes sparsely branched wth rough, dense hair with a sticky texture.

The flower is slighty irregular in shape with a cream / white colouring sometimes yellow appearance. It has 5 petal and produces solitary flowers or sometimes sparsley grown flowers that open in the evening but are at their most fragrant during the night time.

The leaves of this plant are opposite on the stalk, the lower part of the stalk have stalked leaves where as further up the stalk, the leaves become stalkless. All the leaves have a hairy texture and a light green colouring.

Night Flowering Catchfly is often found in allotments, compost heaps, soil heaps etc. IT is greyish in colour and has a sticky texture. The flowers are kept closed during the day as the petals roll inwards. As night fals, the flower begins to open which releases a strong fragrance that attracts night pollinators such as night butterflies which arrive in large groups to pollinate the plants.

Night Flowering Catchfly is a medium height plant that is similar to that of White Campion. Although it is said to be similar to White Campion the colour of the flowers is different. Most commonly found on dry, sandy or calcareous soils, typically found in spring sown crops.

Height: 75 – 80cm
Flowering Time: July to September
Preferred Conditions: Likes to grow in dry, sandy and calcareous soil.

Night Flowering Catchfly - Silene noctiflora