Ragged robin Silene flos-cuculi

Best Time to See
Habitat Woodland
"And ragged robin's pinky hoodGleams no more within the wood..."

- Janet Hamilton, "Luggie: Past & Present"


A wild flower with a rakish charm. Ragged robin's dishevelled beauty enlivens many a damp meadow.

How to spot it

Petals deep pink or white, each divided into four narrow lobes. Leaves are narrow and rough to touch.

Where it grows

Wetter woods and meadows.

Best time to see

May to August.

Cultural info

In the Language of Flowers it symbolises ardour, aversion, and wit. 

How's it doing?

Many counties have recorded a local decline, mainly from habitat loss to agriculture.

3 things you might not know

  • In Shakespeare's time it was known as Crowflower and is one of the flowers in Ophelia's "garland".
  • Ragged-robin is dedicated to St. Barnabas. Why? Hay-making took place around his Feast Day (11th June) and this bright pink flower would been found amongst the hay.
  • It is particularly attractive to long-tongued bees.

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