Plant of the Month for October 2018

Silene alpestris

General Description:

Silene alpestris, aka Heliosperma alpestre, is commonly called the alpine catchfly.  It is native to damp but stony meadows and slopes, at an elevation of 1200-2500 m. It's range is from the eastern Alps to the Balkans, usually on limestone substrates.  Plants form low tufts or mats to 15 cm high. It spreads slowly by thin rhizomes. Narrow deep green leaves are paired.  The white flowers are produced in loose terminal cymes June to August.  Individual flowers have five petals, each with three to five notches.


Alpine catchfly requires full sun, well-drained but moist soil soil.  It prefers alkaline conditions.  It is hardy to zone 5.

Blooming Season:

June to August


Seeds, division


Larger mats may be dug and divided after flowering.


Direct sow at 20 C.  Germination should commence within a few weeks.


Not generally practiced.


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