Silene Species, Fire Pink, Scarlet Catchfly

Silene virginica

Family: Caryophyllaceae (kar-ree-oh-fil-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Silene (sy-LEE-nee) (Info)
Species: virginica (vir-JIN-ih-kuh) (Info)
Synonym:Melandrium virginicum
Synonym:Silene catesbaei
Synonym:Silene coccinea


Alpines and Rock Gardens


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


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)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring



Other details:

This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Auburn, Alabama

Cullman, Alabama

Tuscumbia, Alabama

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Lead Hill, Arkansas

Morrilton, Arkansas

Susanville, California

Wilmington, Delaware

Ellijay, Georgia

Marietta, Georgia

Valparaiso, Indiana

Warren, Indiana

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Bardstown, Kentucky

Pontotoc, Mississippi

Cross Timbers, Missouri

Piedmont, Missouri

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Hendersonville, North Carolina

Glouster, Ohio

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Greenville, South Carolina

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Arlington, Virginia

Middleton, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 17, 2013, plant_it from Valparaiso, IN wrote:

Fire Pink produces spectacular red flowers. It prefers partial sun, slightly mesic to dry conditions, and a rather poor soil containing too much sand, clay, or rocky material. Fire Pink can be short-lived as a perennial, but it occasionally reseeds itself.

Silene regia (Royal Catchfly), has a somewhat similar appearance with striking red flowers, but it has 8 or more pairs of leaves along its stems and the tips of its petals are not notched.


On Apr 1, 2004, womble wrote:

Native to my property here in Central Alabama, on a mountain at elev 1400. This flower grows in rocky, acid, thin soils in the woods and in semi shade. It transplants easily. It likes the same conditions as Ebony Spleenwort.


On Jul 12, 2003, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

Native to my property here in SE Missouri. This flower grows in rocky, acid, thin soils in the woods. It transplants easily, and also comes up from seed casually thrown around when I cut the plants back after blooming. Likes the same conditions as Ebony Spleenwort (fern) so I grow them together. They are more compact and have deeper color during warmer springs. This year we had a long cool spring and they were lanky and more pink instead of shocking true red.


On Jun 14, 2003, vroomp from Marietta, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I transplanted this plant from Jasper Georgia where I found it growing on top of a mountain at 3000' elv. It seems to like where I have it in Marietta where it has grown to a nice sized clump and returns each year with more blooms. This plant like most wild flowers requires little or no special care and average water needs.