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Silene virginica

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Plant types and subtypes: Perennials

Light Requirements: part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: low, medium

Soil Moisture: dry, moist

Soil Description: acid, average, poor, clay, sand, gravel/rock

Height: 1'-3'

Bloom Time: April, May, June, July

Bloom Color: red

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: attracts birds, attracts butterflies, attracts hummingbirds, clumping, cottage garden plant, rock garden plant, shade garden plant, woodland plant

Flower of Silene virginica (fire pink)
  • Flower of Silene virginica (fire pink)
  • Flower of Silene virginica (fire pink)
  • Flower of Silene virginica (fire pink)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Silene virginica

Also known as:

fire pink

,

scarlet catchfly

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

The conspicuous, vibrant-red flowers of fire pink, consist of five long, narrow, notched petals which radiate outward from their tubular bases. Flowers are carried in loose clusters atop slender, hairy stems up to 3 feet tall. The green leaves are lance-shaped and turn reddish-green in winter.

Cultivation

Silene virginica can be found growing in dry, open woods, on rocky wooded slopes, and along roadsides. It will do best in acidic, poor soil in dappled shade, but will tolerate more sun in cooler climate. It will tolerate moist soil, so long as it is well drained. This species is short-lived (2-3 years). It is therefore recommended to allow it to self seed, to ensure a steady rotation of new plants. Fire pink has a long bloom time, starting in mid-spring; as early as April and as late as July depending on geographic location. Zones 4-8

Propagation

Self seeds readily. Stored seeds will do best if cold stratified before sowing. Can be propagated by division in early spring or fall, and also by softwood cuttings.

Additional Notes

Hummingbirds are the main pollinators of fire pink. A host of birds will feast on its seeds. This popular perennial is ideal to brighten semi-shaded rock gardens.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, VA, WI, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: FL, WI
  • Threatened: MI

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Caryophyllidae
Order Caryophyllales
Family Caryophyllaceae Pink family
Genus Silene catchfly
Species Silene virginica fire pink