Silene, Bloody Mary, Bloody William, Lychnis, Mullein Pinks, Rose Campion 'Alba'

Silene coronaria

Family: Caryophyllaceae (kar-ree-oh-fil-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Silene (sy-LEE-nee) (Info)
Species: coronaria (kor-oh-NAR-ee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Alba
Synonym:Agrostemma coronaria
Synonym:Lychnis coronaria




Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 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


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

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

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


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

Toney, Alabama

Redwood City, California

San Leandro, California

Winder, Georgia

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Barbourville, Kentucky

Scottville, Michigan

Hinsdale, New York

Kinderhook, New York

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Salem, Oregon

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

North Scituate, Rhode Island

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 29, 2010, Clary from Lewisburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Both the silver woolly leaves and firm open stems create a very interesting spot in the garden. It's true that the plant dies down by mid-summer, but by then other neighbors are filling in that spot. I prefer the white flowers, since I feel they enhance the cool, open quality of the plant more than the pink flowers do.

A short-lived plant that reseeds heavily. This is the first year I have allowed reseeding; we'll see what color I get next year.

UPDATE: I actually have none of these surviving in my garden this year, despite my reseeding efforts. I will substitute with another plant rather than replace it.


On Jun 18, 2007, sandstreet from Kinderhook, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

This plant has grown so easily for me for 4 years. I inherited it from the previous homeowner. It always looks lovely, reseeds easily so that I have now made a nice border of 14 plants (where I only had 2 to start), and I am envied to have the white, while everyone else around has only the fuchsia. It is in an area of my garden that is about half-shade. It is a biennial so that you have to wait a year for the re-seeded plant to flower, but the foliage is very nice.


On Jul 14, 2004, KDePetrillo from North Scituate, RI (Zone 6a) wrote:

Very reliable from seed, but the flowers are small and the plants skimpy. I would have continued to grow a few of these if it weren't for the fact that they reseed so prolifically that it becomes a nightmare trying to remove the unwanted volunteers.


On Jul 12, 2004, jhyshark from Scottville, MI (Zone 4b) wrote:

I was given some of this or I would never bother. I don't like the "blooms on the ends of sticks" look. I don't like how few blooms you get for the space. I do like the foliage- gray/greeny-white and fuzzy. It has babies everywhere, but easy to pull out or move. Seems like you could use the foliage as an edge and forget about the blossoms, except it tends to dry and turn brown mid season.


On Oct 13, 2002, Baa wrote:

Biennial or short lived perennial from Southern Europe which has won an RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Has greyish silver, hairy leaves. Bears pure white, sometimes with a greenish tinge, salver shaped flowers.

A lovely form of Lychnis coronaria which needs a well drained soil in a sunny spot although it will tolerate some shade.

While the white flower does sometimes come true from seed, expect a few of the magenta flowered type species to appear as well.