White campion Silene latifolia

Status Green - Least concern
Best Time to See May, June, July, August, September, October
Colour
Habitat Grassland

"With weights of tears the bluebell broke,The tall white campion wept in sleeping,And all the humming honey-folk A fast were keeping."- Mary Webb, “A Rainy Day”

Description

A common wildflower of grassland and waste ground, its cheerful white flowers can be seen from spring to autumn.

How to spot it

The clear white flowers of the white campion have five petals, each deeply notched and almost divided into two and its opposite, oval leaves and stems are hairy. In places where it grows with red campion, the two may hybridise to produce pinky white blooms.

Where it grows

On waste ground, disturbed roadside verges, hedgerows and well-drained arable field margins.

Best time to see

In flower from May to October.

How's it doing?

Common throughout the British Isles, but has declined slightly at the western edge of its range.

Did you know?

  • At night the blooms produce a clovey scent, attracting many feeding moths.
  • White campion was one of the ingredients in 16th Century Elizabethan pot pourri.
  • The root has been used as a soap substitute for washing clothes, hair etc.
  • It is thought to have been introduced to the country by neolithic farmers and remains of it have been found on neolithic and bronze age sites.