Silene vulgaris
Common Name: bladder campion 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Native Range: Europe, northwestern Africa, Asia
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to August
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Plants prefer sunny sites in sandy/gravelly soils or light loams with some part afternoon shade. Plants generally appreciate sharp soil drainage. Plants will freely self seed in optimum growing conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Silene vulgaris, commonly called bladder campion, is native to Europe, but has escaped cultivation and naturalized over time in North America from Newfoundland to British Columbia south to Georgia, Arkansas, New Mexico and California. It is a weedy herbaceous perennial that is typically found in the wild along roadsides, railroads, waste areas and fields. Plants are glaucous and deeply taprooted. They grow to 12-18” tall on upright stems clad with lanceolate to oblong leaves (to 3” long) that often clasp the stem. White flowers bloom in clusters from spring to mid-summer. Each flower (to 1” across) has 5 deeply notched white petals and a prominently veined, greenish-pink, bladder-like calyx. This species is distinguished from other genus plants by this swollen calyx which is referred to in its common name. Silene vulgaris is synonymous with Silene cucubalus.

Genus name means catchfly or campion.

Specific epithet means common.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Best grown in meadows, open woodland areas or naturalized areas. May be used in border fronts or rock gardens.