Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Number 14 in Angela's top 20 wild flowers: red campion

red campion grown from seed
At last! The small area of wild flowers that I started from seed this time last year has produced its first bloom.  The most beautiful red campion I've ever seen. Red campion of course, also features in the seed mix for Meadowmat and there is definitely a campion-esque plant running up to flower in my Meadowmat patch...but it may turn out to be white or bladder campion.

The latin name for red campion is Silene dioica.  Apparantly it's named after Silenus, the merry drunken woodland god from greek mythology.  He's a merry fatman with a horse's tail who when captured by mortals can reveal important secrets.  The second part of the plant name is dioica, which means "two houses" and refers to the fact that each red campion plant has flowers of only one sex - in other words, you need at least two plants to make seed.  Good job I've got plenty then!

According to my Readers Digest book of wild flowers, this little beauty will flower right through to October....perfect then for supplying pollen and nectar to the bees and butterflies that I hope will visit my garden IF the sun ever comes out.

red campion hanging its head in the rain
red campion growing wild in woodland somewhere in North Norfolk
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