White Campion - Silene alba - Western Isles White Wildflowers

Sea Campion - Western Isles Wildflowers

White Campion - White Wildflowers
When seen close up these lovely white wild flowers the white campion are just stunning.

They can be seen in flower during the summer months and are to be seen often on wasteland, verges, or by hedges, and in the fields

These wildflowers are native to THe Western Isles and Scotland.

Other common names used for this flower include evening lychnis and white cockle.

Sub Species
Silene alba is the British sub species of Silene latifolia. This plant is an annual or biennial or short lived perennial - to be seen along the verges, hedgerows, fields, roadsides and arable farmland. Its flowers being about 1ins across in diameter.

Here in The Western Isles we get several campions, which are members of the carnation family. We get white campions, sea campions, moss campions, red campions and there is a plant which is very similar and closely related, the ragged robin.

It was believed that if you picked this flower your mother would die.

White Campion - Scented
The white campion is slightly scented - unlike the red campion. These lovely flowers appear from May to September. The Calyx is much darker and less inflated than that of the sea campion.

The stems are soft and hairy. The seed pod is a capsule inside the calyx. White Campion has white flowers with five petals, each deeply notched and almost divided into two; its oval leaves and stems are hairy.

The root has been used to produce a soap substitute for washing clothes, by simmering it in water.

Pink Flowers - Hybridisation
Is the plant hybridises with red campion the flowers are a subtle pink shade.

Male & Female Plants - Pollination - Moths
Male and female plants occur on different plants and pollination is often by night flying moths - who are attracted by the flowers smell

Appearance Differs with Age of The Campion plant
The appearance depends on the age of the plant, as when it is a young plant it forms a basal rosette of oval to lanceolate leaves 4-10 cm long. When the plant is a little older there are forked stems that grow from these with leaves in opposite pairs.

Wildflowers that Stay Open - Even at Dusk
Unlike many wild flowers they remain open as dusk descend

Male Flowers
The male flowers of this species have a less-inflated, ten-veined calyx and ten stamens

Female Flowers
The female flowers have three styles and exhibit a largely inflated, 20-vined calyx. Flowers are singularly along the length of the stem.

Sea Campion - Isle of Lewis Wildflowers
Click pictures below for larger photographs


Sea Campion or Bladder Campion?
The Calyx on the white campion is much darker and less inflated than Bladder Campion. The Calyx on the White Campion is ovoid and becomes swollen when in fruit.

The calyx on the white campion does not have the same markings and patterns as that of the Sea Campion.


White campion grows to a height of between 30 - 100cm. It is usually a perennial, however sometimes it is either biennial or even annual
White Campion
White Campion - A Carpet of Wildflowers - Ghioridail - Tolsta

Common Names
There are many common names, such as Cow-rattle, cockle, cuckoo flower, thunder-flower, white bachelors button, white robin,evening lychnis

White Campion Seeds
Seeds start to become viable 2-3 weeks after flowering. The seeds ripen and the capsule opens 4-5 weeks later.

Each seed capsule contains between 48 and 359 seeds. There are 5,000 to 15,000 seeds per plant.

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