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Stringflower Silene hookeri


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credit: Brian Pettinger/CCSA

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Alternate name: Dusty-pink, Hooker's Silene, Ground Pink

Family: Caryophyllaceae, Carnation view all from this family

Description A hairy gray-green plant with many short spreading stems in a cluster, few branches, and several flowers with deeply divided petals at branch ends.
Habit: native perennial herb; many prostrate stems, to 8 in (20 cm) long, upturned at tip.
Height: 2-6 in (5-15 cm)
Leaf: opposite, ovate or oblanceolate, to 3.5 in (90 mm) long, becoming smaller and narrower away from base of stem.
Flower: white to coral to pink to purple, terminal, 5-parted, 1-2 in (25-50 mm) wide; with petals 4-lobed with inner lobes often wider, hairy calyx, miniature petals at center,
Fruit: capsule, oval to oblong, 6-toothed.

Flower May to June.

Flower April - June

Habitat Oak woodlands, coniferous forests, open areas, sandy and rocky soils, sometimes on serpentine, to 4600 ft (1400 m).

Range Coastal and inland mountains of Oregon and northwestern California.

Discussion Also known as dusty pink, ground pink, Hooker's silene, Hooker's Indian pink, Hooker's glandular campion, Hooker's catchfly. Up to three subspecies are proposed. The common name stringflower best applies to the race with white petals divided into four narrow, string-like lobes.

Comments Does best with in rock gardens with summer heat and generous winter rains.

Exposure Preference Partial sun.

Native Distribution N. California to Oregon

Site Preference Fields; open to wooded hillsides

Soil Preference Very well-drained soils.