Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bladder Campion
Silene vulgaris

Family: Caryophyllaceae (kar-ree-oh-fil-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Silene (sy-LEE-nee) (Info)
Species: vulgaris (vul-GAIR-iss) (Info)

Synonym:Silene cucubalus

8 members have or want this plant for trade.

Alpines and Rock Gardens

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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By Toxicodendron
Thumbnail #1 of Silene vulgaris by Toxicodendron

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By Toxicodendron
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There are a total of 17 photos.
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No positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral altagardener On Apr 6, 2011, altagardener from Calgary, AB (Zone 3b) wrote:

Silene vulgaris is not actually native to North America; it is an introduced species.

Neutral Toxicodendron On Jan 8, 2004, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is a native North American wildflower, growing from southern Canada down to Missouri and Tennessee. I have seen it volunteering here and there at old homesteads, usually at the edge of some shade trees where the plants receive part sun, part shade. A friend of mine gave me a plant, but it died when I moved it to full sun, so I don't recommend that exposure. I saved some seed, which I am hoping will germinate this spring (sowed in the fall). This is not a very attractive plant because it tends to flop over (that is why I tried full sun), but the balloon calyxes are quite enchanting.

Neutral Baa On Aug 31, 2002, Baa wrote:

A low growing perennial from Europe.

Has greyish green, ovate to linear, hairless leaves which may have a wavy margin. Bears pure white, deeply divided petals which come out of a light brown inflated calyx. Sometimes the plants may be dioecious (being either male or female) so seeds may not be viable from a plant grown alone.

Flowers May-October

Loves a well drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil in light shade, tolerating some sun except during the hot part of the day.

Quite tolerant of a range of conditions as long as the soil doesn't lie too wet. Self seeds with ease.

Neutral Joy On Oct 10, 2001, Joy from Kalama, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Blooms June through fall.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

San Jose, California
Oakland, Maryland
Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
Morgan, Pennsylvania
Kalama, Washington

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