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Cardinal Catchfly Silene laciniata

 

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Cardinal Catchfly
© Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

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Alternate name: Southern Indian Pink, Mexican Campion

Family: Caryophyllaceae, Carnation view all from this family



Description Cardinal Catchfly's one to several, 1-2 1/2 ft. stems are slender and weak, often leaning against other vegetation. Showy, brilliant-red, tubular flowers, with five jagged petals, occur at branch ends. Leaves are densely covered with sticky hairs.


Flower May - August.


Flower May - August


Habitat Pine forests; grassy or brushy slopes.


Range W. Texas to c. California, south to Mexico.


Discussion S. laciniata ssp. major is the form occuring in California. This subspecies has been divided into two varieties: var. angustifolia for plants near the coast and var. latifolia for interior plants. Subspecies greggii occurs in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The flowers attract hummingbirds.


Comments S. laciniata ssp. major is the form occuring in CA. This ssp. has been divided into two varieties: var. angustifolia for plants near the coast and var. latifolia for interior plants. The typical S. laciniata occurs in the Mex. Cordillera. Stems can be cut back just after flowering to encourage new growth later.


Exposure Preference Partial shade.


Native Distribution W. Texas to c. California, s. to Mexico


Site Preference Pine forests; grassy or brushy slopes


Soil Preference Rich, gravelly soils.


Wildlife Value Flowers attract hummingbirds.


 

 

 

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