Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Silene species unidentified

An unidentified species.

Horticultural & Botanical History

No data.


History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues [H.214/1845].


A large number of species of Silene were commonly grown in the Victorian era.  Silene pendula L., Silene speciosa Paxt. and Silene rubella L. are described here.  Members of the genus are known as ‘Campion’ and ‘Catchfly’.  Johnson's Dictionary lists 128 species.

Silene pendula, ‘Nodding catchfly’, is ‘an erect low growing species, with a profusion of rosy-red or pink, lobed, salver-shaped flowers.’. White varieties were also available. An excellent subject for edging or hanging baskets.  [RHSE].

Silene rubella is ‘a neat plant, twelve inches high, with broadly ovate, glossy leaves and numerous terminal clusters of loose, purplish rose-coloured blossoms.’ Both of these plants were listed as annuals suitable for bedding in The Gardeners Chronicle.  [Gard. Chron. 1852].

Silene speciosa Pax., ‘Showy catchfly’, [now generally known as Silene laciniata Cav., which see] is a tender herbaceous plant with deep scarlet, star-like flowers.  [Gard. Chron 1843].  Seed of this plant was ordered from Warner & Warner, Seedsmen and Florists, Cornhill, on 12th April 1846.  [MP A2933-1, p. 131].  

Of these species, only Silene pendula seems to be readily available today, at least under these names. 

Published Sep 21, 2009 - 11:31 AM | Last updated Sep 05, 2011 - 05:13 PM

Family Caryophyllaceae
Region of origin

Not known

Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Silene sp. 

Confidence level low