Silene regia, Royal Catchfly


Royal is scarlet red, catchfly is its sticky stem. Here, shown with Little Bluestem.

There is no other color like it in a prairie garden, certainly not mid-summer. The red is warmer than a Cardinal Flower that some new to Royal Catchfly may confuse it for. One never grows this plant for its foliage which is inclined to yellow as the season progresses. It works great in a short-grass prairie garden where the blades of grass conceal its foliage and your eye is drawn up to its brilliant flowers. Not native to Minnesota, but areas of Wisconsin and Illinois, this near-native laughs at drought, self-seeds in a mild numbers, and brings great color to the garden in summer. It is a bit sticky so you may lose a few insects to its glue, and if this is a concern, avoid this colorful species.

Blooms: scarlet red, July into August

Height: 2-3 feet

Conditions: Sun to pt sun, medium to dry soils

A plant loved by pollinators and hummingbirds.