Tuesday, 24 May 2011

red campion


Red campion (silene dioica) is a British native that flowers abundantly in woodland edges and hedgerows at this time of year. It is a biennial or perennial member of the 'pink' family.

 A nectar source for many butterflies and bees, it frequently hybridises with white campion (silene latifolia) and produces a range of creamy pink flowers. It is the food plant of the Rivulet, Campion, Lychnis, Twin Spot Carpet, Marbled Clover and Sandy Carpet moths. Long-tongued bumblebees particularly like the trumpets of campion flowers.

Even our Nottinghamshire sandlands produce campion flowers in abundance.

Our woodland zones will eventually have a succession of native flowers from primrose (primula vulgaris), through bluebells (hyacinthoides non-scripta) via campion to foxgloves (digitalis pupurea) before the tree canopy closes above.

My passion is for native and local but it is illegal to take plants from the wild.

Collecting seeds, however, is quite legal and I can currently be seen on wasteland picking  seed heads of red campion that will eventually yield their seeds - which will in turn be used to grow small plants that will colour our woodland edge a blushing, natural pink in springs of the future.

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